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Single-family home cost in Massachusetts hits new heights

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Single-family home cost in Massachusetts hits new heights


As the mercury rises, so do home prices.

A harbinger of that is the report today by The Warren Group, which shows the cost of a single-family home climbed 10% in February in the Bay State, with a new median price of $548,250.

“February was another record-setting month for median single-family home prices as sales activity
was flat on a year-over-year basis,” said Cassidy Norton of The Warren Group. “A lack of inventory is the biggest factor driving these trends, and with fewer and fewer homes hitting the market, we can fully expect to see more recording-setting prices paired with a low sales volume in the coming months.”

The report lists 2,042 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts during February. That’s flat year-over-year — or up 0.1% with 4,434 home sold in 2023 vs 4,438 this past February, the report states.

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The median condo price increased 6.5% on a year-over-year basis to $490,000.

Condo sales also increased 5.8% when compared to last February, with 1,017 sales vs 1,076 closings this winter, the report adds.

“Although condo sales increased 5.8% in February on a year-over-year basis, activity is still
nowhere near what we saw even two or three years ago,” Norton said. “Record high prices and
high-interest rates are likely a big factor in the long-term decline in activity, and prospective
buyers shouldn’t expect much relief in the near future.”

The Fed is meeting this week, and all eyes are on the benchmark interest rate but don’t bet on any immediate relief.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his fellow Fed officials are expected to play it safe and keep rates frozen, according to multiple reports.

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The Fed’s benchmark rate stands at about 5.4%, the highest level in 23 years, after a series of 11 rate hikes that were intended to curb the worst inflation in four decades but have also made borrowing much more expensive for consumers and businesses, the Associated Press reports.

Mortgage rates are hovering near 7.2% for a 30-year fixed rate, with other similar rates being promoted for slightly less. “Upper” 6% rates are also in play as of Monday, with Business Insider stating “hotter-than-expected economic data has helped push them back up.”

As for Greater Boston, the housing picture is even more costly.

The Warren Group report states the median price of a single-family home has soared 11.9% year-over-year in February from $620,000 to $693,750. That’s for the 139 towns located within Interstate 495. Condo prices are also up 5.7%.

There’s not much movement in Boston, where single-family home sales — though very rare — climb past $1 million, statistics show. The same holds true for Cambridge, Arlington, Dover, Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Edgartown, Hingham, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Wellesley, Weston, and Westwood.

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Climate activists block rush-hour traffic in Boston – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

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Climate activists block rush-hour traffic in Boston – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News


BOSTON (WHDH) – Climate protesters blocked rush hour traffic in Boston on Friday as they marched toward South Station as part of a demonstration aimed at raising awareness about the impact fossil fuels have on the environment.

Dozens of protesters blocked traffic on Seaport Boulevard while carrying a banner that read “No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure.”

Video from Sky7-HD showed the 50 or 60 protesters crowding into the right lane of the roadway.

No additional information was immediately available.

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This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Boston has one of the best riverwalks in America, according to USA Today readers

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Boston has one of the best riverwalks in America, according to USA Today readers


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The Charles River Esplanade was named among the 10 best riverwalks in America.

Terry Goguen and Annaclare Smith enjoying the weather and view from a dock on the Charles River Esplanade. John Tlumacki / Globe Staff

There’s nothing quite like the combination of nature and city life, and a Boston riverwalk does both extremely well, according to USA Today readers.


  • 4 of the world’s best new hotels are in New England, according to Travel + Leisure

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The Charles River Esplanade was named among the 10 best riverwalks in America by USA Today readers on Friday, part of its 2024 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It ranked No. 9 on the list.

Here’s what USA Today wrote about the Charles River Esplanade:

“The Charles River Esplanade in downtown Boston features a 64-acre park and 17 miles of running trails along the waterfront. The riverfront is also home to a community boat launch, a small cafe that’s open during the warm seasons, and an outdoor amphitheater for summer concerts.”

— USA Today’s 10Best

The Esplanade’s fourth annual Community Day will take place on May 19, a free outdoor event featuring local music, vendors, and food trucks.

The No. 1 riverwalk in America is Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati.

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For the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards lists, USA Today travel experts select 20 nominees in topics from food to lodging, destinations to things to do. Then the publication asks readers to cast votes to determine the top 10.

Check out the 10 best riverwalks in America.





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How Boston Democrats adopted Mecklenburg County

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How Boston Democrats adopted Mecklenburg County


When Drew Kromer became chair of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party last year, he had ambitious goals.

Raise more money. Register more voters. Increase turnout.

Soon after, Kromer, who is 27, found an unlikely benefactor: Jeff Blum, a 77-year-old New Yorker with Massachusetts ties who is a longtime Democratic Party organizer.

Blum can’t make a difference in the Northeast, where President Biden will win easily. So he looked elsewhere.

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In 2020, he did some voter outreach work in North Carolina, such as phone banking. He did that again in 2022.

But Blum said he wanted to zero in on one place in North Carolina instead of spreading his efforts across the state.

“Pretty consistently everyone told me the problem area is Mecklenburg,” he said.

By “problem,” he means low turnout in the county with the state’s most registered Democrats.

In the 2022 U.S. Senate race, for instance, only seven North Carolina counties had lower turnout than Mecklenburg. The state’s second-largest county produces huge margins for Democrats, but there is a belief that Mecklenburg could do even better and that Democrats are leaving 20,000 or so votes on the table.

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“We’ve looked at the data: Meck versus the rest of the state, Meck versus Wake,” Blum said. “We had seen all of those numbers. So we said: ‘Let’s create activists on the ground.’ ”

Blum was impressed with North Carolina’s new, young Democratic leaders, such as Kromer and state party chair Anderson Clayton, who is 26.

He decided to, in his words, “adopt” Mecklenburg County.

Volunteers and $$

Blum has helped in two key ways. One is phone banking. The other is money.

Twice a month, Blum’s group — called All In for NC — has volunteers who meet in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a phone bank. They call Democratic voters in Mecklenburg and ask if they want to get engaged. They direct the voters to social events and other meet-ups, hoping they will have fun and want to volunteer in September and October.

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Kromer said Blum is responsible for 90% of the new people he’s enlisted in 2024.

“We’re flinging the doors wide open,” Kromer said. “Come see what we are building. Jeff is helping us with that message. The work that Jeff and his team have done has been the jump-start for this.”

He added: “I can have the best turn-out strategy, and if I don’t have the volunteers it will fail.”

When it comes to money, Blum has also helped Kromer raise lots of it.

In the last six months of 2023 — just after Kromer became chair, and connected with Blum — the Mecklenburg Democratic Party raised nearly $431,000 from individuals.

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For a county political party, that’s a huge number. (The Wake County Democratic Party raised $64,000 during the same time period.)

A significant number of donors are from New England — part of Blum’s network. And Kromer said that many other out-of-state donors are also connected to Blum.

In fundraising emails to county party members, the Mecklenburg Democratic Party is urging locals to give — in part because it impresses the out-of-state donors.

“Robust fundraising from the base of the party helps us convince major donors from in and out of Mecklenburg to invest in our program,” a February fundraising email said. “If we can show these folks that we, the grassroots, are investing in our plans and programs, it’ll move them to invest as well.”

Compare that $431,000 to what the county party raised during the same six months the year before the 2020 election. Jane Whitley was the chair then, and she didn’t have access to national donors.

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In a grassroots effort, she raised a little under $24,000 from individuals.

Blum said he also plans to raise money to help outside groups do work in Mecklenburg County, for things like voter registration.

And he’s tried to get his volunteers to follow North Carolina and Mecklenburg politics so they are invested.

Later this month, for instance, All In for NC is hosting a Zoom virtual call with Democratic legislative candidates, including Nicole Sidman, who is running against Republican Tricia Cotham for a southeast Mecklenburg seat.

“We’re hundreds of people,” Blum said. “We like the sense of being tied to the place and knowing the place.”

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How much can money do?

The question, of course, is how important will all the Massachusetts love — and cash — be?

If Democrats are lukewarm about President Biden, can any amount of money overcome that?

The county Democratic Party points to its success in Huntersville, when it ran an extensive voter outreach operation last November. Democrats won every seat on the town council, flipping it from red to blue. (The Huntersville election is officially nonpartisan, meaning political parties do not appear on the ballot next to a candidate’s name.)

But there are signs it’s going to be tough to turn the Mecklenburg aircraft carrier around.

While turnout was low for the 2022 midterms, it was even lower for the March primary. Only three North Carolina counties had a lower percentage of people vote than Mecklenburg.

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(Part of that is because this is a heavily Democratic county and Biden was running unopposed. But other Democratic counties like Durham still had higher turnout.)

And there is another factor: voter registration has lagged.

Inside Politics has written about this before, but immediately after the 2020 election, Mecklenburg had just under 798,000 registered voters and Wake County had 766,000.

Today, despite population growth, Mecklenburg has 788,600 and Wake has nearly 822,000.

Someone — the Mecklenburg Democratic Party, the North Carolina Democratic Party, the Biden campaign — needs to scramble and register about 20,000 people just to catch up to where they should be.

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