Historical Property Assessments in Boston's South End

The following is an excerpt from our Fall 2015 South End Stakeholders' Report, a report on the state of the South End real estate market and a glimpse into life in our neighborhood. You can download the full report here.

Historical Property Assessments in the South End Reflect Economic Changes

Since the 1840s, the South End's contribution to Boston's property tax base has fluctuated in measure with its perceived desirability. The relatively high early assessed values reflected the city's ambitions for the neighborhood, jump-started by a city- sponsored development program. By the 1870s, however, the South End had gone from an enclave of single-family homes to a collection of rooming houses and small apartments. Assessed values dropped. The massive urban renewal programs of the 1960s coincided with further decline and represented a low point in the neighborhood's popularity.

The 1970s renewed interest in urban living. Shorter commutes, low interest rate loans for homeowners, and a greater appreciation for the South End's period architecture led to condominium development and an influx of new residents. By the early 1980s, assessed values had soared 40 times their mid-century lows. Today, the annual tax bills sent to South End property owners are multiple times higher than what they would have paid for the same properties 50 years ago. Below are chronological snapshots of assessed values for three South End streets that illustrate just how far we've come.

Source: The South End District Study Committee Report, MLS, City of Boston and Assessor's Office

Find this story and more in our Fall 2015 South End Stakeholders' Report. Read all about the latest real estate trends, forecasts, and an in-depth look at the South End community.