Downtown Boston dodges real estate bullet

4 reasons city's core weathered recession better than state

According to Forbes magazine, the top 10 priciest ZIP codes are either in the New York City metro area or California, two areas of the country that have experienced a lot of economic turmoil since the mortgage and financial markets blew up four years ago.

Those markets remain extremely pricey despite experiencing fluctuations. If you are seeking a high-end market that has been much more steadfast with minor price movement, then you have to go further east than the Big Apple, all the way to the Atlantic Coast of Massachusetts and the city of Boston — and not all of Beantown, just the central core.

"Downtown Boston dodged a bullet," said Kevin Ahearn of Boston-based Otis & Ahearn Inc., a brokerage firm and publisher of local residential sales data. "We held prices from our peak in 2008 with over $1,000 a square foot on million-dollar home sales."

In addition, he said, "2010 has been a great year, especially at the high end, with the second-highest data points in the last decade."