Real Estate News

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

CHARLESTOWN CONDO SALE PRICE HITS $765,383

From Boston Realty Advisors:

“This year, the average list price for a condominium in Charlestown is $750,010, with the average sale price reaching $765,383. In the past 6 years, sale prices have surpassed the average list prices by 2%, indicating the high demand for condos in this historic sub-market.

Since 2012, the average condominium sale price has increased by 62%, with the average number of sold condos priced over $1m increasing 13% y-o-y.

The average sold price per square-foot in 2018 has reached $742, with the average days to offer at just 23. Charlestown has pivoted into an attractable destination for several reasons:

  • Convenient access to Downtown Boston, Logan Airport and 93 North
  • More spacious unit layouts compared to those in similar sub-markets
  • Ease of parking and family friendly atmosphere

Today, the 18% closing difference between one and two-bedrooms suggest the rising demand for one-bedrooms, and ultimately how young-professionals are absorbing the existing supply. Given the larger unit sizes for two and three-bedrooms, Charlestown is a desirable location for transitioning families as well, by evidence of 3-bedrooms costing 18% less PSF than 1-bedrooms.”

These Are the Eight Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Boston

by Madeline Bilis, Boston Magazine

 

The Archer Residences

 

1. 45 Temple Street #1, Boston
Price: $18,000,000
Size: 5,998 square feet
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 5

Meet the Archer Residences, 67 very fancy units coming to Beacon Hill in the near future. The Archer’s penthouse, which is currently the most expensive home for sale in the city at a whopping $18 million, is poised to be architectural marvel when it’s completed. Both levels of the home are connected by a floating wood-and-steel staircase enclosed by glass—and the shiny glass accents don’t stop there. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors in the main living area open directly to a rooftop terrace, where there’s a Jacuzzi and an infinity-edge pool.

Introducing The Archer Residences

The ArcherAdvisors Living is proud to announce the exclusive sales and marketing of The Archer Residences in Beacon Hill. The Archer Residences, a boutique collection of beautifully designed condominium homes, offers individualized details and a full-service concierge experience in Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. From the magnificent roof terrace to the state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center, valet service, and exclusive indoor parking, The Archer Residences are designed to make life easier.

From The Archer Residences, many of Boston’s greatest attractions are just a short walk away. Feeling the team spirit? Enjoy the Celtics and the Bruins, two of America’s most successful and historic teams, at TD Garden. Or maybe you just want to take a relaxing stroll around the historic neighborhood? The Boston Public Garden, built in 1837, is a beautiful public park that offers boat rides around its swan-filled lagoon. Louisburg Square, a quiet, historic green near The Archer Residences, was once home to many famous 19th century figures, including architect Charles Bulfinch, painter John Singleton Copley, and author Louisa May Alcott.

The Archer Fitness Center

The Archer Residences features 67 unique residences ranging in size from one to four bedrooms. Each residence has been thoughtfully designed, blending the historic character of Beacon Hill with an elegant hand-selection of materials and finishes.

The Archer Bathroom

Click here to schedule an appointment or call us today at 888-749-4805 to visit our sales center today at 20 Ashburton Place. We look forward to showing you what makes The Archer Residences the most exciting residential new construction project in Boston.

First look: Pier 4 condos

by Catherine Carlock, Boston Business Journal

The longtime home of legendary Boston seafood restaurant Anthony’s Pier 4 is rapidly transforming into a luxury condominium complex, and the site’s developer just landed a lease with farm-to-table restaurateur Kristin Canty.

Interest is strong for the Pier 4 condos, said Janice Dumont, CEO of AdvisorsLiving. The firm, which is the residential division of Boston Realty Advisors, is the exclusive sales and marketing agent of the nine-story, 106-unit complex.

Pier 4, a nine story, 106-unit luxury condominium building, will open in late 2018 at the former Anthony’s Pier 4 site in Boston.  Tishman Speyer is developing the complex, which was designed by SHoP Architects in collaboration with Boston-based CBT.

VIEW SLIDESHOW

“Given the nostalgia of the site, and the fact that so many people have had wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, at the site, it’s been very exciting,” Dumont said in an interview with the Business Journal.

Two-bedroom units at Pier 4 will start at $2 million-plus. Each home has its own private outdoor space and water views, and penthouse units will feature private roof decks. Amenities include an outdoor terrace, an outdoor seating and dining area with a fire pit, virtual golf and 24-hour concierge services from First Service Residential.

 

Boston Real Estate Firms Increasingly Attractive Acquisitions

Scaled Vertical Growth Necessary To Remain Competitive

By Jim Morrison | Banker & Tradesman Staff | Oct 8, 2017

https://www.bankerandtradesman.com/boston-real-estate-firms-increasingly-attractive-acquisitions/

Street intesection in Boston historical North End

Street intesection in Boston historical North End

The nationwide trend of real estate agencies mergers and acquisitions came to Boston this month with Douglas Elliman’s announced purchase of local Otis & Ahearn Real Estate. Smaller firms are feeling the pinch from rising costs and market forces, and more consolidations are likely.

The increased attention from out-of-town players has been a major topic of conversation around the watercooler at Boston Realty Advisors, said Jason Weissman, founder and senior partner – and he couldn’t be happier about it.

“It shows the strength of the market,” he said. “You have to look at Boston. If we end up going into a recession, Boston is going to have the softest landing of any city in the country because of the diversity of strong industries we have here. This city is going to outpace other cities.”

Boston Realty Advisors in the largest independent brokerage in the city as measured by gross commission income, Weissman said, and he has also been approached by other companies looking to acquire it. He’s not interested. In fact, he’s actively looking for companies to acquire.

“There’s no exit plan,” he said. “We’re very focused on serving our clients. They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life and I love the business. I love competing and I love competing successfully. It’s extremely tough for smaller independents to compete. We’ve built the infrastructure to compete and win.”

Think Globally, Sell Locally

Gibson Sothebys is also in acquisition mode. Co-owner and chairman Larry Rideout said his company is not looking to be acquired, but he does see more acquisitions in Boston’s future.

“Big, New York companies are starting to see that Boston is on the map,” he said. “We’re also in acquisition mode. Now is a good time to consolidate in the Boston market. We’re looking for a cultural fit. Of course, the numbers have to work out and it has to be a win-win.”

Rideout said the white-hot Greater Boston real estate market can’t burn forever, but he thinks the signs point toward a few more good years. Companies that make smart acquisitions now will cash in on those good years.

“Permits are down, but they were up for a long time and things have to take a breath,” Rideout said. “Sales slowed a little this summer, but they’re going to come back. You have to look long term. Mortgage interest rates are low, money is cheap and Wall Street is doing OK.”

As Boston has become a more international city, Rideout said having the money and the network to market globally has become vital. Small, local companies just don’t have the same reach, making it harder for them to compete.

“You have to start thinking globally,” he said. “I have Sothebys, with an amazing international reach, and I still joined ‘Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.’ You have to use everything you can.”

Boutique Firms Can Compete With Behemoths

There’s still plenty of business for small, locally owned real estate agencies with excellent customer service, said Carmela Laurella, president of CL Properties. Laurella isn’t concerned with acquisition talk; she’s focused on remaining small and providing “excellent service and exceptional results.”

“Our firm is eight years old and we’re having one of our best years ever,” she said. “We operate like an investment banking firm. We choose to stay small and boutique. Most of our business comes from the Internet and repeat business. We have no problem getting listings and making sales.”

Deep pockets and a global reach are not as important as growing a local base of satisfied customers, she said. Big firms like Douglas Elliman and Berkshire Hathaway, who are both in acquisition mode, don’t bring that to the table.

“I wish them both well, but I do think they’ll have a hard time catching up,” she said. “This business is about people and relationships. I used to work for Coldwell Banker and Otis & Ahearn and when I left, my clients followed me, the agent, not the brand. We’re niche players. I have people who will walk over the Charlestown bridge to find me because they want me to sell their homes.”

Douglas Elliman did not respond to requests for comment.

Change Creates Opportunity

The trend of smaller companies being consumed by larger ones will continue in Boston, said Jeff Heighton, regional vice president and Boston-area general manager at Compass Real Estate. The Greater Boston economy is growing quickly and big companies are looking to capitalize on that.

“Boston is a major metropolitan area with a lot of investments from across the country and globe,” Heighton said. “If you’re a large company, you need to make sure you’re in the major markets across the country, like Boston. For companies that aren’t here, they’re thinking about it.”

Growing a business by acquisition is far more complex than simply buying an agency and changing the flag, he said.

“I’d say we’ll see more acquisitions in the near future at all levels as agents ask their firm, ‘What are you doing to grow my business?” Heighton said. “As that question can’t be answered, they’re going to look for companies that can. That’s part of what’s driving the consolidations.

New residential buildings are full of amenities, but oh that pretentious name

al_nameblog_image

By Nestor Ramos | The Boston Globe

Welcome to Boston, tech wizard/financial planner/GE executive! Your new apartment has elegant fixtures, stainless appliances, underground parking, a fireplace, and a view of the harbor in a gleaming new building.

But that name, though.

All over Greater Boston, luxurious new living quarters are sprouting up like gleaming, modernist weeds. And a lot of them, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, have names. Not names like the apartment building you may have grown up in — “23 Stanley Street” — but Names. The Eddy. VIA. TROY. The Kensington. Watermark. Alloy. The Allele.

The Allele.

Allele is, of course, Adele’s less talented younger sister (you may have heard her hit song: “Hello. It’s me . . . Allele”). No, that’s not right. Since most Americans are fluent in the chromosomal genetic science, we obviously know that an allele is (Googles frantically) a different version of a gene.

Somewhere along the way, we started naming our cats like people and our people like cats. “Meet my son, Plank, and my cat, Bruce.” Now we’re naming our apartment buildings like swanky hotels. Pretty soon hotels won’t even have names, just a picture of a buffalo that looks like a caveman drew it.

“It gives them a little panache,” said Mary Kelleher, a real estate agent with Gibson Sotheby’s International in Boston. “You can say to me ‘150 Dorchester Avenue,’ and you’re like ‘Where the hell is that?’ ”

And because the marketing of high-end apartments and condos sometimes hinges on a little panache, the names race is on.

“We’ve named quite a number of projects,” said Javier Cortes, partner and creative director of KORN Design, a brand strategy and design firm in Boston. “The process involves a fair amount of research — we try to honor the place and its history.”

Remember the “Mad Men” episode where Don Draper sells a slide projector with a speech so thoughtful and impassioned that it sent an ad executive scurrying away in tears? It’s sort of like that, but for high-rises. Cortes and his team whittle down a list of maybe a hundred names to about a dozen that they bring to their clients.

“You want to make sure the name is memorable, applicable, not too hard to pronounce,” Cortes said, and then you have to scan for “egregious meanings in other cultures” — the classic (and largely apocryphal) Chevy Nova problem, in which Spanish-speaking countries allegedly declined to buy a car named “doesn’t go.”

KORN named the Liberty Hotel — it seems obvious now, but when it was an abandoned, rat-infested jail next to the hospital, it didn’t scream “luxury hotel” or “liberty.” Alloy, at Assembly Row in Somerville, was so named because it represents the “fusion” of Boston and Somerville, Cortes said, and echoes the area’s industrial history.

The Eddy, he said, emerged from historical research and calls on three different ideas. Eddy, most simply, sounds a little like Eastie, the neighborhood where the building sits on the water. Robert Henry Eddy, an architect and civil engineer, worked on various early maps of East Boston in the 19th century. And “eddy” describes circular movement in water running counter to the main current.

The Eddy.

“If you’re deciding where you’re going to live in Boston, choosing to live in Eastie is a little counter current,” Cortes said. “Here’s a building that’s on the water and runs counter current.”

Mind. Blown.

“It’s OK if you don’t know it on face value. It sounds cool and it works,” Cortes said. “We work hard to make sure there’s very deep meaning.”

But they can’t all be this deep. Right?

Lars Unhjem, vice president of development in Boston for Mill Creek Residential, said Modera Medford earned its name because “Modera” is Mill Creek’s flagship brand nationally (the Medford part is self explanatory).

Modera.

“No meaning,” Unhjem said in an e-mail, “just a word someone made up.”

“Some of it, honestly?” Kelleher confided, “we pull this stuff out of you-know-where.”

This all started happening in earnest during an earlier building boom, said Colleen Barry, chief executive officer of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The units were getting scooped up. We weren’t really worried, per se, about whether they were going to sell,” Barry said. “What we were starting to think about was how do you distinguish one from another? The idea was to brand these so they each kind of had a different feeling.”

“It was the very early stages of a slightly different way of thinking about development,” Barry said.

As it happens, Kelleher credits Barry with naming The Allele.

The Allele’s name, Kelleher said, grew from a discussion about the building’s concept: All the best elements of loft living (high ceilings, open floor plans) without the drawbacks (sleeping in what is essentially the far corner of the kitchen; commune-level privacy).

“I think ‘allele’ is a biological term — the fusion of two elements,” Kelleher said. “I’m probably simplifying it. Maybe even bastardizing it.”

But not according to one of the world’s leading geneticists. Dr. Stephen Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He’s also a 2017 recipient of the Breakthrough Prize, which “recognizes paradigm-shifting discoveries in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics,” according to the Harvard Gazette. The board is a who’s who of tech billionaires, and the prize comes with $3 million.

In an e-mail that was surely a profound waste of his very valuable time, Dr. Elledge said collections of alleles account for differences between people — height, eye color, etc. Many of those differences aren’t inherently good or bad.

“I am ok with ‘Allele,’ ” Elledge wrote, emphasizing that the variation they’re referencing isn’t bad — just different. “In this case, I suspect they feel like their change is one for better.”

It is, by all accounts, a lovely place to live.

 

View full article here.

Boston Luxury Condo Market 2016 YE Recap

Lovejoy Wharf

The Boston Upscale and Luxury Condo Market had a Strong 2016. 

Sales volume in the Boston Upscale and Luxury condo market in 2016 was up 7% with the average price up 20% to $1,150,000.  An unseasonably high fourth quarter 2015 can be attributed to the closing of 22 Liberty, while the third and fourth quarters 2016 benefited from the closing of Millennium Tower.  Overall, when comparing fourth quarter 2015 and 2016 absolute prices remained fairly flat, with fewer transactions happening in 2016 because a majority of the Millennium Tower sales happened in third quarter versus fourth quarter 2016.  We define the Upscale market as condos $700/SF+, $500,000+, 4+ units, and central AC in the building, while Luxury is the top 10% of the market.  Even though the average price per square foot may be 6% below the end of last year average PPSF, it is still 5% higher than the next highest quarter.  As condo prices continue to go up, many buildings that did not qualify as “Upscale” in 2015 do now, as they are now trading higher than $700/SF and $500,000, further showing that pricing along all residential segments is up.

Neighborhood Supply Low and Demand High.  When observing all Boston markets, there is still a shortage of supply in all neighborhoods.  Market equilibrium is typically defined as 6 months of available inventory.  Very few large residential projects are delivering in 2017, but those that are, are 40%+ sold out.  The two largest buildings delivering in 2017, Pierce (The Fenway) and 50 Liberty (Seaport), are both 40-50% sold out as of the end of 2016.  A few other projects slated to be delivered this year are Siena (South End), 110 Broad (Financial District) and Telford 180 (Brighton) are also selling fast.   Sales offices for LoveJoy Wharf (Waterfront, near North Station) with plans to capture some of the pent up demand in the “Upscale” market for homes located on the water but with no parking in the building offered.  Back Bay continues to go strong with One Dalton condos selling at record high selling prices with a new high watermark on price per square foot as well.

What’s Hot? By the end of 2016, the main three condo types (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms) in the upscale and luxury markets all saw big jumps in asking prices.  Both one and two bedroom condos saw the largest jump at approximately a $100,000 increase to average asking prices, bringing them up to $1.1 million and $1.9 million, respectively. Three bedrooms saw the largest sales to ask spread of three condo types, but still achieved an average sales price over $3 million.

Overall, 2017 looks to be an exciting year in the Boston real estate market, with prices only expected to continue to rise in a supply constrained market.

Optimistic Outlook for 2017

boston map

While we have been settling into the first few days of 2017, the residential real estate market has hit the ground running. Housing market trends throughout the Boston area show a 3% rise each year in median sales prices and a 2% rise in median rent per month. With the rents down from previous years, it looks like 2017 will be a profitable and exciting time to move to a new home. Over the past six months, rising home prices in the Boston area have acted as a catalyst to improve the buying power of people selling their homes, allowing sellers to stretch their money further when they look to purchase a new home.

This urgency to buy and sell is indicative of a strong economy in a great city. As the home to multiple top-notch universities and thriving companies, Boston and the surrounding areas benefit from a community and a culture that prides itself on ingenuity and innovation. The current confidence demonstrated by buyers and sellers has boosted the outlook for a strong residential real estate market in 2017.