Housing boom isn’t hitting Boston suburbs

bGlobeBy Tim Logan | Globe Staff

These are boom times for building in Greater Boston. But really only in parts of it.

The epic surge in housing construction that is reshaping Boston and some of its immediate neighbors is largely bypassing many suburbs and the smaller cities that ring the region. And that, industry specialists said, is one reason why all the additional housing isn’t doing much to dent the cost of living in one of the nation’s priciest real estate markets.

It’s the result of growing demand to live near the core of a vibrant city, especially among young professionals. But it’s also the product of decades of decisions that dampened development in many suburban towns, making it harder to build in places beyond the crowded and increasingly costly city.

That dynamic is driving both developers and residents into the core of the region, adding to the upward spiral of housing costs. And it is threatening the future of the region’s already shrinking middle class, housing experts say.

“Nobody has figured out how to build housing the middle class can afford,” said Barry Bluestone, a Northeastern University professor who studies the region’s housing market. “We’ve got to come up with some new answers.”

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