Boston real estate values outshine the majority of other metro areas

Real estate in Boston, MA, is in a much more stable place than in several other major U.S. metro areas. In fact, three cities - Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas - have seen additional 20 percent declines in home values since 2009, Bloomberg reports. This is in direct contrast to recent surges displayed in Boston in both the for-sale and rental markets.

When you prepare to move to the Hub, you need to make sure your finances are in order. The city can be quite expensive, especially if your initial plan is to rent an apartment in one of Boston's appealing downtown communities. Areas like Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the North End and the South End all feature rising rents. In fact, asking rent prices were up 9.8 percent in the Greater Boston area in May 2012 compared to a year ago, The Boston Globe reports. This uptick is much higher than the national average of 6 percent, and lands Boston as the fifth most expensive city for rental properties, which is significantly lower than the 14.4 percent rise seen in San Francisco.

After you consider how much you'll likely pay every month for a rental unit, you may want to buy a home. What's more, Boston's housing market is faring exceptionally well compared to many other metro regions, so going through a home closing may be a sound financial decision.

The March 2012 Case-Shiller Housing Price Index figures were recently released, and reflected the national housing market to have seen modest price increases for the second consecutive month. While the two-month increase in the 20-city index between January and March 2012 totals a dismal 0.2 percent above the post-2006 market collapse, it shows steady growth, reports Bloomberg.

The bulk of the cities measured in the Case-Shiller index have garnered 90 percent back of their May 2009 values. In addition, approximately 15 have gained between 83 and 97 percent of their May 2009 prices, the source reports. Some metro areas have fared even better, such as Boston, which has seen housing prices shoot up by more than 40 percent over the past two decades.

The Hub features a diverse array of for-sale homes, and you may be able to find affordable and lucrative housing opportunities. However, you'll want to shop today before they're all claimed, as values are expected to drive more prospective buyers into the marketplace this summer.