Boston Real Estate

Boston Globe, “Everybody wins with luxury development in Boston” by Jason S. Weissman

Jason Opinion Article

A recent Institute for Policy Studies report offers a decidedly negative view of both the city’s luxury residential market and the homebuyers who support it. The study’s argument that the luxury buildings are populated by faceless corporate entities and international buyers seeking to park their money ignores a larger and exceptionally positive outcome for the city. (Full disclosure: As the principal of a full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm in the Boston market, I represent many real estate owners and developers.)

First, the burgeoning community of luxury condos in Boston is, in economic terms, a net positive for the city — providing significant tax dollars and job opportunities. Contrary to the study’s one-sided viewpoint, luxury development in Boston provides new residential opportunities for those who are looking to move into the city.

In addition, the report seems to view ownership by international buyers as an inherently nefarious undertaking, calling one tower a “classic wealth storage” property. The study’s authors seem to have a decidedly dim view of international real estate transactions — perhaps based on data from other markets such as New York City and Miami, which have experienced an influx of problematic transactions and slow city reaction.

Boston is on the world stage for many respectable reasons — education, medical, life science, technology, and finance. As such, the Boston real estate market has and always will attract local investors, as well as equity from throughout the United States and around the globe.

I’ve worked with many types of investors and home buyers throughout my more than 20 years of working in Boston real estate. My experience is that the majority of the international buyers in Boston are connected to Boston in a variety of positive ways. They buy a home here because their child is attending a Boston university, or they want to be near our world-class medical care, or they are relocating to here for a well-paying job in the tech, medical, life science, or financial services fields.

One of the study’s primary negative data points is that 64 percent of luxury condo owners in the sample do not claim their residential exemption, which the study calls “a clear indication that the condo owners are not using their units as their primary residence.” However, this point is superfluous. The requirements to obtain the exemption are time consuming and unwieldy for an annual exemption that amounts to only a few hundred dollars for most homeowners. As such, many people who purchase luxury units will not spend the time on something with such a small benefit.

Instead of depending on subsidies and rent control like other cities, Boston’s affordable housing policies create a virtuous cycle wherein the more projects that are approved, the more affordable units are delivered — thereby creating a robust workforce with the buying power to fill them. Moreover, every new residential development increases Boston’s property tax base – which helps the city become socioeconomically appealing to all – thereby attracting more and more residents.

While decrying projects like Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing, the study ignores the fact that annual real estate taxes generated from Millennium Tower singlehandedly exceeds $12.6 million —  equal to paying the annual salaries for 303 teachers or 168 police or 136 firefighters. Yet the number of police and fire calls to this building was four and the number of children using public schools is de minimis.

By Jason S. Weissman

Founder & Senior Partner – Boston Realty Advisors

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.

Mass Home Prices Rise as Inventory Decreases

Home prices blog

Home prices throughout the state continued to rise in July, but the number of actual home sales has decreased for the first time this year.

New figures by The Warren Group show that buying a house is not an easy feat. The median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts has climbed 2.7% in July, to $369,000 and condos have climbed 3.7% to $350,000.

Despite this increase in price, the numbers of homes sold during the month fell by 12.5%, with fewer property owners listing their homes for sale.

Other reports have supported these claims, with a report by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors showing that the number of single-family homes listed for sale this July was down 29% compared to the same time last year.

This decline in inventory of available properties has been going on for 54 straight months according to the reports.

Due to a decrease in inventory, buyers are seeing an increase in prices and intense competition with homes selling at a much faster rate.

Without a boost in supply this trend is suspected to continue throughout the end of the summer.

Need help selling or buying a home? Contact our advisors for expert advice and exclusive listings. 

Breakdown of the Fastest Selling Boston Neighborhoods

Roxbury

The speed of the current housing market is no secret, but depending on what neighborhood you’re buying or selling in, this speed can vary.

NeighborhoodX has put out a report looking at the speed at which condos in various Boston neighborhoods have sold.

By analyzing transactions from various Boston neighborhoods in the month of July and looking at data from the number of days condos were on the market, they were able to create a list of the fastest-selling neighborhoods.

The final list ranges from 24 days on the market to 69 days, Brighton, Allston and Dorchester tied for being the shortest and Back Bay being the longest.

Right in the middle were Jamaica Plain and Beacon Hill with an average of 39 and 41 days on the market.

Price also played an important factor in this analysis. The neighborhoods where condos spent the fewest days on the market had an average price of $450,000. The average selling price in Back Bay where the average days on the market were the longest, was $1.7 million.

View current available listings by neighborhood here or contact our advisors for advice about the current market. 

View the full breakdown below:

Boston neighborhoods condo breakdown

Credit: NeighborhoodX

High Home Sales Compete With Low Inventory

Fort Point Housing Construction

Home sales are at a high so far this year, but this doesn’t mean that buying a home has gotten any easier.

Houses are being sold at the fastest rate since 2007, making buyers work extra hard to get a house under contract, according to Realtor.com.

The biggest challenge that has come along with this is a low inventory of available homes, which takes away from making more sales.

Buyers are having trouble finding a home that that met their needs and buyers are reporting similar issues.

This doesn’t come as a surprise, with 13% more people looking to buy a home this summer and 5% fewer homes actually available for sale.

The low level of inventory combined with the speed that homes are being sold and high prices all contribute to becoming a seller’s market.

However, this doesn’t mean it is easy for sellers. The biggest issue sellers are facing is time.

As more owners decide to sell their homes and prices recover and mortgage rates remain low, this process will be slightly easier.

The other main problem for potential sellers is finding a home to purchase. Most sellers aren’t willing to risk selling their home without already having a new one under contract first.

Remodeling and home improvement projects also slow down the selling process, even as this area of the industry has been seeing a boom.

The average peak for sales is typically June or July, however with the combination of low mortgage rates, strong demand and an increasing number of buyers and sellers, this may extend the peak.

If you’re thinking about buying then now is the time to begin the process. We provide services for buyers and sellers.

Contact our advisors today for expert advice in buying or selling your home. 

Doorbell App Brings Residents Together This September

Doorbell Blog

Doorbell is a new app developed by Harvard students hoping to connect building residents with one another and coming to Boston this September.

This multifaceted property management app focuses on creating quality co-living experiences with building residents, according to Bostinno.

The platform has already been tested in New York City and given developers a good idea of what residents really want before they launch in Boston this fall.

Doorbell allows residents in a building the opportunity to communicate, share goods and services, coordinate building events and other interactions. The inspiration comes from co-living environments and attempts to replicate the opportunities that stem from communal areas in buildings that may not have the same amenities.

Local stores and restaurants will also have the opportunity to become involved, by offering nearby residents special discounts and perks.

As for property managers who make use of the app, they will have functionalities such as ways to handle maintenance requests and rent collection.

Doorbell is first planning to launch in Cambridge and Somerville this fall, in Holden Green, Peabody Terrace and 45 Concord Ave. While Holden Green is a large development with 483 units, 45 Concord only has about 50 units.

In the future the app plans to expand to Fenway, particularly some of the new construction projects, where it would benefit from starting fresh with a new development and new residents coming in at the same time.

Home Sellers in Boston Can Expect High Returns

Beacon Hill

Boston home sellers are seeing great returns, according to data presented by Boston Agent Magazine.

The analysis comes from publicly recorded sales deeds from counties nationwide.

Based on the analysis, the average seller gain in Boston in June 2016 was $60,000, equivalent to 26% over what the seller originally paid for the house.

These statistics show an improvement over the past few months of data. Just two years ago the average seller in Boston only gained $42,500 on a sale, or 16% of the home’s value.

Boston home sellers returns rank relatively high compared to many areas of the US, with sellers in Chicago gaining $12,600 or 6% on average and 20% seller gains on average in New York.

The city with the largest amount of seller gains on average from the report is San Francisco, with the average seller gains at $315,000 or 72%. Los Angeles is just below that at $187,000 or 49%.

We provide a broad range of services for sellers, including marketing, selling luxury homes and estates, buyer brokerage and consulting for investment entities.

Read more about our seller services here.

Contact our experienced brokers today for expert advice for selling your home. 

Architectural Robotics Could Help Maximize Small Spaces

Architectural Robotics Apartment

Credit: boston.com

Architectural robotics are being tested at new residential developments in the Seaport, hoping to maximize the always decreasing square footage.

At the Watermark Seaport a 481-square-foot studio is testing out this new technology that makes small spaces like these feel bigger and more practical, according to Boston.com.

The luxury unit features a kitchen space along one wall, a bed area, living room space, floor to ceiling windows and high-end finishes.

The unique aspect is actually hidden within what appears to be a wall separating he bedroom and living room space.

Architectural Robotics Apartment

Credit: boston.com

On the side of the wall is a control panel, allowing the wall to be moved to the left or right, making either the bedroom space or living room space bigger.

Built into the movable wall are cabinets, closets, a pull out desk and even a space for the bed to slide in. These additions allow you to quickly tuck the bed away and transform the space into an office, or larger living space.

Architectural Robotics 2

Credit: boston.com

Called architectural robotics, this technology quickly and easily makes the most use of your space depending on your individual needs at any time and is conveniently controlled from your phone or the button.

Architectural Robotics

Credit: boston.com

Not only does it divide the space, but it unlocks potential for smaller spaces, especially since these size spaces are becoming increasingly popular on the market.

These technologies are currently still being tested at the Watermark and other cities around the country, but the developers at Ori Systems are hoping to get into real homes in 2017.

Contact us for more information and advice on finding your new home.

Boston’s Tallest Residential Building Welcomes Residents

Millennium Tower Skyline- Rising Condo Prices

Millennium Tower, the tallest residential building in downtown Boston, is filling up fast as residents began to move in last week.

The lower half of the luxury tower was completed last week and deeds for the first 47 units to officially close were filed. The units range from $875,000 for a 16th floor unit to $8,700,000 for a 45th floor unit.

Millennium Penthouse

About 75% of the current buyers come from around the Boston area, according to the Boston Globe.

The remaining residents are from around the country and the world, which really reflects Boston’s developing image as an international city.

Out of the 442 units within the building only 20 have yet to be sold.

Millennium Tower Luxury Condo Boston Downtown Crossing

The top floor units will be complete and ready for move in later this year.

The 685-foot tower is not only the tallest residential building in the city, but one of Boston’s most anticipated new developments. Along with the high-end luxury living units the development also brings with it an abundance of new retail to the Downtown Crossing area.

View the remaining listings in Millennium Tower before they’re gone or contact one of our advisors for more information.