Real Estate News

The latest news about the residential real estate market in Boston and the surrounding areas

Consumer Confidence Remains High Entering Fall Market

U.S. consumer confidence only slightly decreased from July to August despite trade tensions with China. Experts estimated that the market could see a large dip in August, but instead, this dip has been significantly smaller than predicted, signaling an optimistic general economic outlook. While other part of the economy have shown some weakness, the housing and labor market have remained strong, and now, bullish investors are hoping for resolution with China and a potential fall rally.

Expectations are still that the Fed will lower interest rates again in September due to trade tensions and slowing global growth, according to Reuters.com. As long as the tariff tension with China continues, the Fed will need to use monetary policy tools, such as rate cuts, to keep the economy strong. If the tension escalates and China retaliates to the U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports by taxing incoming U.S. goods, the high level of consumer confidence that we are seeing now will start to fall at a faster pace. But, on Monday, President Trump and Xi Jinping “called for calm” and Trump predicted that a deal would soon be in place.

These continuous rate cuts bode well for the future of the housing market. Nationally, home prices increased by 1.0% in the second quarter, and the increase in housing demand can directly be attributed to the favorable mortgage conditions brought about by the recent rate cuts. As long as these rate cuts increase the demand for real estate purchases, prices should hold strong entering the fall.

 

 

 

Fall Housing Market Forecast Looking Strong

In July 2019, U.S. homes sales grew by 2.5% year over year due in large part to a decrease in interest rates. Analysts believe that this rate was lowered to bolster the economy after markets shifted when tariffs on Chinese goods was announced by President Trump. This bodes well for the outlook of the U.S. housing market, as this decrease from 3.95% to 3.90% interest will give buyers more money to spend on homes going into the fall season.

Developer Kicks Off 39-Unit Condo Development in JP

By: The Warren Group

City Realty Group has begun construction of Tempo, a 39-unit condominium complex at 3193 Washington St. in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

The 5-story, 45,605-square-foot project will include units ranging from 495-square-foot studios to 1,305-square-foot three-bedroom condos. Amenities include a pet wash station, automated garage parking and bike storage.

New Boston Builders is constructing the project, which was designed by Embarc Studio of South Boston and is scheduled for completion in April 2020. Units will be marketed by Boston Realty Advisors/Advisors Living.

Studios are being marketed starting in the $400,000s and one-bedroom units will start in the $500,000s, according to the developers.

City Realty Group Begins Construction on TEMPO Condominiums in Jamaica Plain By Boston Real Estate Times

 

BOSTON– City Realty Group, a community-focused real estate development company serving the Greater Boston area since 2004, recently celebrated groundbreaking on TEMPO Condominiums in Jamaica Plain.

Located at 3193 Washington Street, TEMPO embraces the unique rhythm of Jamaica Plain.  TEMPO features 39 striking homes and quaint retail space that matches the blend of authenticity and vibrancy which makes JP one of Boston’s most appealing neighborhoods to call home.

TEMPO provides needed home ownership opportunities in the desirable Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The five-story building will total 45,605 square feet, with 31,365 square feet of net living space and available units ranging from studio to three-bedrooms. The studio units range from 495-615 square feet, one-bedroom units from 585-680 square feet, two-bedroom units from 785-985 square feet, two-bedrooms plus a study are 940 square feet, and three-bedroom condos will measure 955-1,305 square feet.  Retail units range from 1,050-1,105 square feet.  All retail space will be marketed with a preference for local small businesses.

Combining functionality with luxury, TEMPO is perfectly situated, just an 8-minute walk to the MTBA’s Orange Line and in great proximity to popular Boston destinations such as Fenway, Back Bay and the Longwood Medical area. TEMPO will accentuate everything that makes JP a special place to live – the exciting local restaurant scene, iconic Sam Adams Brewery, the historic and picturesque Arnold Arboretum and Emerald Necklace.  These stylish, pet-friendly condos are thoughtfully designed to fit the modern lifestyle.  Amenities include: automated garage parking, pet wash station, bike storage and private outdoor space. Construction is expected to be completed by March, 2020.

“TEMPO combines a fresh approach to urban living, with unmatched neighborhood amenities,” said Steve Whalen, Managing Partner of City Realty Group. “We are proud to bring much-needed home ownership options to the wonderfully diverse and vibrant community of Jamaica Plain.”

City Realty is teaming up with New Boston Builders to construct TEMPO Condominiums, which was designed by Embarc Studio, an architectural firm located in South Boston. Units will be exclusively marketed by Boston Realty Advisors/Advisors Living.

Advisors Living Tapped to Market Brookline Condominium Project By Connect Boston

Advisors Living, a division of Boston Realty Advisors, has been tapped as the exclusive sales and marketing team for The Fredrick, a gut-renovated new condominium project in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner neighborhood. The project consists of eight newly constructed two-bedroom, two-bath homes.

Located at 1240 Beacon St., the project was originally developed as a row house in 1910. In 2018, Haycon was selected to design and construct the renovation at the property. Prices at The Fredrick start at $979,000.

“We couldn’t be happier with the product at The Frederick,” said Patrick Haydon, partner at Haycon. “Together with Advisors Living, we combined modern ingenuity with traditional eloquence to create an exclusive eight unit condominium residence that exemplifies urban living in style.”

The Outlook for 2019 Interest Rates – Will Rates Drop Lower?

The Federal Reserve is currently debating whether or not interest rates will continue to drop in July. Even after the drop this week from 3.99% to 3.94% according to Bankrate, investors and homebuyers nationwide are hoping that there could be a quarter point to a half a point drop next month. The last time mortgage rates were this low was November of 2016. It was the seventh decline in the past nine weeks for the 30 year fixed rate mortgage, which was at 4.55% this day last year. Most institutional investors anticipate a quarter point drop in July of this year in order to combat the uncertainty of the upcoming trade talks between President Trump and Xi Jinping. If the Fed anticipates that these discussions may turn sour, then they will buoy the economy by lowering the interest rates to spur investment.

So what does this mean for new home buyers and sellers? Now is the time to start researching how much buying power you have, because with this new rate decrease, monthly payments will be lower than ever. You may not even need to put 20% down depending on whether or not you are in a competitive real estate market. This is the time of year where deals can be made, and with lower interest rates, your purchasing power might be stronger than you expected.

Thought about refinancing your mortgage? Buying a new condo? There’s never been a better time to see what’s out there on the market than right now before the Fall frenzy begins. Contact us on our website and let us help you navigate the market.

Pier 4 Penthouse Sells for Record Number

pier 4

The homes at Pier 4, the Seaport’s premiere luxury condominium, are now closing and ready for occupancy. The Penthouse homes at Pier 4 have sold for prices that had only previously been achieved in Back Bay and Beacon Hill, redefining the geography of Boston’s luxury condo market. One residence that has closed in the Penthouse Collection sold for $15,231,920 and achieved a record-shattering price per square foot of $4,180. As of June 2019, no other residential sale in Boston has ever closed for over $4,000 per square foot.  So what are some of the features of these amazing homes in the Penthouse Collection?

Each has its own uniquely designed feature staircase leading to an expansive private roof terrace, equipped with a fully appointed kitchen – perfect for entertaining this Fourth of July

A full-height 99-bottle wine fridge – let your inner sommelier free

Soaring 10’5” ceiling – plenty of room for art and furniture that fits your tastes

Gas fireplaces – ideal for colder winter months

Private balconies with captivating views

Indulgent soaking tub for rest and relaxation after a long day of exploring all that the Seaport has to offer

Another home that sold in Pier 4’s Penthouse Collection also achieved $4,180 per square foot and sold for over $13 million. To put these sales in perspective, the highest sale in Back Bay in 2019 did not cross the $2,700 per square foot threshold. These record sales at Pier 4 showcase the value of new waterfront homes in full service buildings versus inventory in Back Bay and Beacon Hill that has aged and is not fully amenitized.

Missed your chance to tour these amazing homes? Luckily, there are still a few penthouses available, just in time to move in this summer! Register on our website and book an appointment today.

South End’s 100 Shawmut Avenue breaks ground in busy area

Project with 138 luxury condos joins other nearby new-ish arrivals such as the Ink Block and Troy Boston.

by Tom Acitelli 

Boston-based developer the Davis Companies officially broke ground June 3 on a luxury condo at 100 Shawmut Avenue in the South End. The firm acquired the six-story office property there for $26.2 million in July 2015.

That acquisition touched off speculation about what Davis would build at the site as it’s smack-dab amid an ongoing, years-long building boom in that corner of the South End that has also included the Ink Block complex and the Troy Boston apartments.

Davis’ under-construction project at Herald Street will be a 232,000-square-foot condo building with 138 luxury units. It will run to 13 stories, and the units will run from studios to four-bedrooms, “many featuring a den space,” according to a release from the developer.

The project’s exterior is expected to incorporate the 1920s facade of the office building that was there within a newly constructed glass structure. The Architectural Team, based in Chelsea, is handling that design, and EMBARC Studio of Boston is designing the interiors. Copley Wolff is the landscape architect.

The building’s amenities are due to include a 24-hour concierge, private parking for 112, billiards, a fitness center, a dog-washing station, and a playroom for the kids. A rooftop lounge is expected to include gas grills and fire pits.

In the end, the years-in-the-making project came about through a partnership between Davis, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC), and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA).

Davis, as part of advancing 100 Shawmut, will contribute $15 million to a city-controlled escrow account for developing affordable housing at a CCBA-owned site at 50 Herald Street next to 100 Shawmut. That project is expected to hold 313 apartments, 26 percent of which will be designated affordable.

The partnership also means an expanded BCEC building at 120 Shawmut Avenue in the same vicinity, which will house ecclesiastical space as well as 84 housing units. (Davis has also committed $200,000 to various community programs as part of the partnership, the developer said.)

The latter two projects are not under construction, and 100 Shawmut is supposed to open in fall 2020. Stay tuned.

“The Davis Companies Celebrates the Groundbreaking of $170 Million, 138 Unit Condo Building in Boston” by Boston Real Estate Times

BOSTON — The Davis Companies hosted a groundbreaking celebration to launch 100 Shawmut, the South End’s newest collection of thoughtfully designed luxury condominium residences slated to open in Fall 2020.

100 Shawmut is the first of three abutting projects, collectively approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency, to commence construction. Speakers included Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, Jonathan Davis, Founder & CEO of The Davis Companies, Steven Chin, Senior Pastor at the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, and Paul Chan, President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

“Today, we celebrate the groundbreaking of 100 Shawmut – a project realized through a unique partnership between The Davis Companies, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association,” said Jonathan Davis, Founder & CEO of The Davis Companies. “Our collaboration has yielded a dynamic development for the historic South End and this innovative property will ensure that our Chinatown-based non-profit partners will be able to serve the community for years to come, in addition to bringing new housing and jobs to our city.”

Located at the intersection of Herald Street and Shawmut Avenue, the $170 million, 13-story, residential project is comprised of 138 condominiums, including studios, one, two, three- and four-bedroom units, many featuring a den space.

When 100 Shawmut is completed, the 232,000 square-foot property will seamlessly integrate the historic character of the original 1920’s facade with a newly constructed glass structure designed by The Architectural Team (TAT). The building will have a number of private balconies offering sweeping vistas of the city. EMBARC Studio, the interior design team, has created a modern approach to the interiors with a mixture of white oak wood detailing and textural stone conveying a warm, neutral color palette, transitioning and merging the neighborhood architecture with a fresh, new interior.

The building will have a comprehensive amenity program that includes 24/7 concierge, private parking, a private dining/conference room with an entertaining kitchen, a great room, a billiard room, an activity lounge, library, fitness center, dog wash station and children’s playroom. The Penthouse features an indoor and outdoor residents lounge, and a rooftop sky lounge equipped with gas grills and fire pits. 100 Shawmut also houses 3-levels of enclosed private parking containing 112 spaces for residents.

“100 Shawmut presents a rare opportunity to live in a stylish, new condominium building in the South End, one of Boston’s most sought-after historic neighborhoods,” said Janice Dumont, CEO of Advisors Living.  “The definition of modern luxury has just been elevated. The comprehensive amenity program, along with the building’s incredible views, private outdoor spaces and the availability of three-and-four- bedroom residences and penthouses creates a new lifestyle experience in the heart for the city for homeowners. We are privileged to be the exclusive brokerage firm for The Davis Companies on this unique property.”

The Davis Companies will be making a $15,000,000 contribution toward the creation of Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units in an escrow account controlled by the BPDA for the benefit of the CCBA Building. In addition, The Davis Companies has committed $200,000 to various community programs.

Suffolk Construction is the general contractor for 100 Shawmut.  The Architectural Team, Inc. located in Chelsea, MA is the design architect and EMBARC Studio, located in Boston has designed the interiors. Copley Wolff Design Group is the landscape architecture firm for the project. Engineers for 100 Shawmut are McNamara Salvia, WSP and  Howard Stein Hudson Associates.

The project is financed by a $105,000,000 construction loan from M&T Bank with participating lenders that include Berkshire Bank, HarborOne Bank, Needham Bank, and Bank of New England.

The Davis Companies is an integrated real estate investment, development and management firm headquartered in Boston that has invested more than $6.2 billion in gross asset value through real estate equity, debt and fixed-income securities. A combination of capital markets, development and management expertise allows The Davis Companies to nimbly tackle complex opportunities. Directly, and with its valued partners, The Davis Companies currently owns a real estate portfolio of approximately 10.2 million square feet of office, retail, hospitality, light industrial, healthcare and life science properties and approximately 5,000 residential units across the Eastern United States.

Advisors Living is a full service luxury real estate lifestyle and brokerage company representing residential, new development, and leasing clients. Our team is committed to exceptional service and delivery and our depth of experience is unparalleled in today’s market. The properties we represent include Pier 4 in the Seaport, which has achieved the highest price per square foot to date in the City of Boston. New development sites extend as far north as Newburyport and as far south as Westport with a strong presence in the metro west and Boston markets.

These Are The top Places to Live Around Boston Right Now

Boston Magazine 2/26/19:  These Are the Top Places to Live Around Boston Right Now

by Madeline Bilis

Walkable downtowns, hip restaurants, and plenty of living space. How 12 suburban towns are wooing the next generation of homebuyer, one millennial at a time.

FOR THE BEACH BUM

Coastal towns making waves for more than just ocean views.

HULL


 

2018 Median Single-Family Price: $415,000
Property Tax Rate: $13.42
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 57 minutes

Sea breezes and (relatively) cheap home prices—what more can you ask for? This former summertime hideaway is now a lively year-round community complete with a bevy of affordable single-families, sparkling condos, and even a revamped waterfront promenade. While the bustle of 1950s Nantasket Beach is no longer, the town’s new Paragon Boardwalk is currently getting an infusion of hipster-tinged nostalgia. Husband-and-wife team Chris and Diana Reale purchased the rundown property in late 2017 and have since upgraded it with an arcade—featuring old-school games, naturally—as well as mini golf and grub from former Clio and Liquid Art House chef Douglas Rodrigues. Plus, commuting into Boston is as easy as hopping on the ferry. Landlubbers need not apply.

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $924,000
Property Tax Rate: $11.03
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 46 minutes

A guaranteed parking spot at Singing Beach is one of the best perks of being a year-round Manchester-by-the-Sea dweller—when you finally manage to snag a place, that is. “If things are priced well in Manchester, they don’t last a minute,” says Julie Smith, an agent with Engel & Völkers by the Sea. “People are waiting to get into this town. It’s crazy.” And for good reason: The coastal life here is easy—and convenient. There’s a commuter-rail stop smack in the middle of a walkable downtown packed with shopping and dining options, plus long lists of community events. On summer nights, for example, beach bums of all ages spread out on blankets to watch movies or hear music in Masconomo Park, which overlooks the ocean.

FOR THE SHOPAHOLIC

You don’t have to live on Beacon Hill to enjoy lovely boutique-lined streets. Walk out your front door and into your favorite stores in suburbia.

HUDSON


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $378,000
Property Tax Rate: $17.50
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 56 minutes

An artisanal ice cream shop, a craft brewery, a gift store stocked with handmade wares, and, yes, a speakeasy, all within walking distance of one another: What city neighborhood could possibly check all of those boxes? Hudson does. Over the past five years, the once-­languishing central Massachusetts mill town has been transformed into a lively, dynamic locale—and people are noticing. Younger city dwellers worn down by sky-high prices are putting down roots here, as are suburbanites. “So many times before, we had found ourselves…sipping crafts beers at Medusa Brewing Company,” says teacher Ryann Hart, who moved to Hudson from nearby Marlborough. “And then we truly hit the jackpot when our dream home came on the market.”

CONCORD


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $1,041,000
Property Tax Rate: $14.29
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 45 minutes

Everyone knows Concord is home to one of New England’s quaintest town centers, with indie shops aplenty dotting Main and Walden streets. But it’s only recently that the town upgraded its second pedestrian-friendly shopping area, the West Concord Village District, with boutiques such as the new Joy Street Life + Home and gathering places like Reasons to Be Cheerful, a cute scoop shop. Less than a five-minute walk away is the Wheelhouse, a coworking space in a former furniture mill that draws artists and entrepreneurs. “Our amenities have changed radically,” says broker Zur Attias, of the Attias Group. That explains the 18-percent jump in sales from 2017 to 2018.

FOR THE ROAD WARRIOR

More time in the car means more charming spaces to stretch your legs outside of it. And in these newly hip exurbs, it means a lot more fun, too.

SHREWSBURY


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $431,500
Property Tax Rate: $12.66
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 61 minutes

“I think 50 percent of my buyers are actually coming from Boston,” says Muneeza Nasrullah, owner of Muneeza Realty Group with Keller Williams Realty. So why are urban refugees fleeing to Shrewsbury, just 39 miles west of the city? The establishment of Lakeway Commons, a gigantic mixed-use development at the former site of time-honored retailer Spag’s, for one. “It’s like urban living in the suburbs because you can walk to Whole Foods or Orangetheory Fitness,” Nasrullah says. That, plus Shrewsbury’s charming and walkable town center, complete with a newly renovated library; proximity to Worcester’s sizzling restaurant scene; and combination of millennial-friendly starter homes and higher-end properties for growing families.

 

PLYMOUTH


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $380,000
Property Tax Rate: $16.46
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 51 minutes

Back in the day, the carriage ride from Plymouth to Boston used to drag on for hours. So by comparison, today’s hourlong journey down Route 3 is quite a breeze. While Plymouth’s Colonial roots make it truly the original place to live, it’s the town’s newer developments that have brought it into the spotlight. The Pinehills, for example, bills itself as a “new take on the classic New England village”: The roughly 3,000-acre planned community consists of single-families and townhouses, with shops and restaurants surrounding its own traditional village green. Of course, Plymouth offers plenty of modern amenities, including a new winery and craft breweries. Those just starting out can scoop up small Cape-style homes in the $200,000 range—we’ll drink to that.

FOR THE FOODIE

City-quality restaurants and easy-to-swallow house prices? Welcome home, young epicures.

WALTHAM


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $607,500
Property Tax Rate: $12.61
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 31 minutes

Ravenous after a long day at the office? Nothing beats coming home to a town anchored by “Restaurant Row.” Waltham’s Moody Street offers the best part of Boston without the hassle, featuring top-notch eateries such as Red Bird, Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions, and dozens of other spots. Nearby, new apartment complexes like the Merc at Moody & Main make it so residents “don’t even have to pull their car out of the driveway” to tuck into charcuterie boards, says Hans Brings, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. Don’t want to own a gas guzzler? Not a problem—the town has one commuter-rail stop with another just over the border in Belmont, a convenience that’s likely to draw more millennials than ever to Watch City.

SALEM


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $425,000
Property Tax Rate: $15.38
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 43 minutes

It’s a delicious time to be a homeowner in Salem, where some of the area’s top restaurateurs are inching north to meet the demands of the hungry historical town. Take chef Matt O’Neil, owner of the award-winning Blue Ox in Lynn. He recently opened Ledger to much acclaim, serving up New England cuisine inside a former bank. Then there’s Tim Haigh and Larry Leibowitz, the homegrown two-person restaurant group behind beloved wood-fired-pizza shop Bambolina and, more recently, noodle bar Kokeshi. In the mood for cocktails with a view? Just saunter over to the Roof at the Hotel Salem. What’s more, locals can dine out often without pinching pennies, considering the town’s housing stock is surprisingly affordable: Eagle-eyed house hunters will notice single-families hitting the market for under $400,000.

 FOR THE COMMITMENT-AVERSE

They’re close enough to the city that you can bike in, but cool enough that you may never want to leave.

ARLINGTON


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $805,000
Property Tax Rate: $12.13
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 24 minutes

Okay, we’ll say it: Arlington is the new Somerville (which, of course, was the new Cambridge). No longer a sleepy suburb, this town gets trendier by the day, attracting artists to its eastern reaches and UppaBaby strollers to the west. A gradual relaxation of Arlington’s Puritanical liquor laws has allowed bars like Common Ground to elbow their way in, while indie maker shop and commissary kitchen the Local Fare hosts innovative food startups that couldn’t possibly afford exorbitant city rents. When it does come time to head into Boston, commuting is as easy as cruising down Arlington’s revamped bike lanes, then hopping on the Minuteman Bikeway all the way to Alewife to catch the T downtown.

BROOKLINE


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $1,777,500
Property Tax Rate: $9.46
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 23 minutes

While it’s not exactly a secret that Brookline’s tree-lined streets are the place to be, the town is now drawing an even younger, hipper crowd eager to shed some of urban life, but not all of it. Case in point? Allium Market and Café, a newly opened specialty food emporium in Coolidge Corner that serves up a mean avocado toast (we did say millennials, didn’t we?). It’s just around the corner from rows of stately Victorians fetching more than $3 million and $700,000 condos in historical brownstones—not to mention top-notch public schools. “It’s a perfect blend of city and suburban lifestyles,” says Diana Kuang, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage—and one that’s only a 15-minute T ride from Coolidge Corner into Boston, to boot.

FOR THE SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

Parties, events, clubs—finding your crew is easy when you live here.

NATICK


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $625,000
Property Tax Rate: $13.05
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 43 minutes

It’s tough not bumping into your neighbors in this sizable MetroWest suburb with a surprisingly close-knit community. Just ask the folks who pack into the Center for the Arts in Natick to catch concerts, open-mike nights, and films both new and old. On any given weekend, residents select the freshest fruits and veggies at the town’s farmers’ market, say “om” in the woods with PeaksandPoses Trail Yoga, and devour a hot dog (or three) at the 129-year-old establishment Casey’s Diner. While century-old restaurants—and houses—are the norm here, there are also plenty of new-construction abodes for sale: Converted churches have even been known to hit the market every once in a while.

NEWBURYPORT


2018 Median Single-Family Price: $612,450
Property Tax Rate: $13.26
Morning Drive Time to Boston: 50 minutes

“Every piece of land that can be built on in Newburyport is being built on,” says William Raveis agent Susan Grillo—see: condos being carved out of antique captain’s homes and brand-new houses springing up on small plots. The kicker? They’re all just steps from downtown. In addition to the shops and restaurants bordering the Merrimack, Newburyport is packed with social clubs. Artists and art lovers flock to the Newburyport Art Association, birdwatchers convene at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, and every spring, a music festival called Plumfest hosts local bands and musicians on porches across Plum Island. “There’s something for everyone, depending on what you’re interested in,” Grillo says.

Boston Magazine Article 2/26/19