South Boston

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Best known as the historical home of Irish-Catholic immigrants, in recent years “Southie” has become desirable among families and young professionals attracted to the area’s sense of community, easy access to public transit and major highways. 

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For most of Boston's first two centuries, South Boston was a remote peninsula connected to the town of Dorchester by a neck of land at Andrew Square known as Dorchester Neck. The area was made up of a few farms and was used primarily for grazing livestock until a group of real estate developers saw its potential and acquired land there. South Boston was annexed to Boston at the turn of the 19th century and linked to the city by a bridge. Dorchester Avenue was laid out at the same time as a toll road. Enlarged by landfill, the peninsula grew according to a planned grid based on a planned urban design into a neighborhood of architecturally significant homes, churches, industrial buildings, and recreational facilities.

Industry brought such an influx of families to South Boston that, by 1855, it had more dwellings than any other ward in the city. Following the massive immigration from Ireland caused by the Great Famine, South Boston became a largely working-class neighborhood, with residents finding work on the South Boston waterfront or in factories such as Gillette, which still employs local residents.  Parts of the neighborhood were heavily industrial, with businesses including ironworks and glassworks. The 20th century saw South Boston receive national attention for its opposition to court-mandated school (de facto) desegregation by busing students to different neighborhoods.

Once a predominantly Irish Catholic community, in recent years South Boston has become increasingly desirable among young professionals and families attracted to the neighborhood's strong sense of community, and quick access to downtown and public transportation. 

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Real Estate

South Boston includes examples of all of the major building styles between 1804 and the 1940s, including Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Mansard, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Renaissance Revival. The rich housing stock reflects decades of population growth, and changing tastes and needs. Up to the time of the civil War, most residents lived in single-family wood frame houses. After 1860, row houses and two-family homes were widely popular. By the turn of the century, triple deckers were the leading new housing type. In the 20th century, bungalows and apartment buildings were added to the mix.

In the early 21st century, property values rose to the level of some of the highest in the city. The City Point area of South Boston, also known as "East Side," has seen a major increase in property values due to its close proximity to downtown Boston. The "West Side," known to lifelong residents as the "lower end," also benefits from the adjacent, popular South End neighborhood. The West Side is home to the first green residence in Boston, the Gold LEED certified Macallen Building.

2018 Statistics*

  • Median Sale Price: $765,000

  • Average Sale Price: $840,714

  • Average Price Per Square Foot: $698

  • Single-Family Homes Sold: 87

  • Highest Single-Family Home Sale Price: $1,785,000

  • Condominiums Sold: 783

  • Highest Condominium Sale Price: $2,212,000

*For the most up-to-date real estate market analysis of the neighborhood, contact us directly.

View our weekly Sunday Open House guide and explore what's available on South Boston's real estate market.




South Boston Lifestyle

Visitors during warm months love to stroll around Castle Island, a 22-acre park situated on beautiful Pleasure Bay, surrounding the historic Revolution-era Fort Independence. Every March, “Southie Pride” is on complete display, as Bostonians gather along Broadway for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.