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Zero Worcester Square In The South End. WOW!

Zero Worcester Square is another great New Boston Ventures project going up on the corner of Worcester Square and Washington Street in the South End. David Goldman and his team have yet another success on their hands after their recent success at the Modern and the Modern 2.0.  The great team at Sprogis & Neale is marketing the project which has been selling very well.

From South End Patch

Zero Worcester Square Development ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Developer David Goldman said six of the nine units have already been sold.

Construction on the new development at the corner of Washington Street and Worcester Square, the former  Hite TV and Radio building, is “ahead of schedule,” according to the site’s developer.

New Boston Ventures, which bought the property in early 2012, said the new Zero Worcester Square condominium building was scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2013, but may be done earlier.

The six story, 10,000 square foot development will house nine units, with two at the garden level, one duplex unit, four one-bedroom units, and two penthouse units, Boston Ventures prinicipal David Goldman said. Behind the main building will be a separate townhouse.

“Construction is ahead of schedule and already six of the nine condominiums are sold,” Goldman said. “Steel is being installed right now.”

One of the building’s remaining condos is listed for $695k for a 1,100 square foot, two bedroom, one and a half bath duplex. “The living/dining/kitchen is only ten steps up from the sidewalk, and the two bedrooms are below.”

Construction on the property began in August. The large Hite Radio and TV sign was donated to the South End Historical Society.


Goode & Farmer Report Boston – January 2013

Lack of Inventory remains the challenge.

The Big Number is 23%. Combined, all Boston neighborhoods saw a 23% increase in the number of condo sold in 2012, from 3,544 sales in 2011 to 4,361 sales in 2012. The average sales price of condominiums increased 5% to $563K from $536K in 2011. The median sales price increased 8% to $410K from $380K in 2011. This real estate market is healthy except for the continuing decrease in inventory levels. The number of condominiums for sale in downtown has dropped 46% to 565 from 1050 last year at this time, and that was an extremely low number!

The Back Bay, saw a 24% increase in sales to 537 units from 433 in 2011, while the average price of a condo sold increased by 5% to $1.18M. The number of condos available for sale dropped 49% from 158 last year to only 80 today.

The South End saw a 9% increase in the number of condo sales to 540 condos sold year to date compared to 497 last year. The average price of a condo sold increased 6% to $704K compared with $663K last year. The inventory of condos for sale decreased 30% from a very low 91 last year to a terrifying 64 today. The dearth of inventory is the issue going forward.

South Boston saw a 26% increase in the number of condo sold to 585 in 2012 compared with 466 in 2011. The average sales price of a condo increased by 11% to $423K compared with $382K in 2011. South Boston has the largest drop in inventory of all downtown n’hoods down 72% from 141 properties for sale on this date last year compared to 39  available for sale today.

Inventory remains the problem, but as I have said repeatedly this market is so resilient and so desirable that declining inventory levels have not negatively effected the steady increase in sales and prices. Time will tell if this dynamic continues.


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Goode & Farmer Report Provincetown- January 2013

Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet Real Estate Market 2012 Year-End figures.

For a year filled with anxiety and trepidation, a polarizing presidential election and talk of falling off the fiscal cliff, the real estate market in many places started to purr like a fine tuned engine. Many cities and towns throughout the country experienced substantial increases in the number of sales as well as climbing prices. In some places such as the downtown Boston market, sales and prices were up as inventory fell to low levels not seen in many years. The news on the Outer Cape was as positive and the year-end sales reports surpassed what many in the industry expected.

Total sales in Provincetown were up 36% from 169 units in 2011 to 229 in 2012 and volume closed was up 51% from $84M to $127M in 2012. There were 166 condominium sales in 2012 totaling $70M vs. 113 condos sales in 2011 totaling $43M – an increase of 63%. The average sale price for condominiums in Ptown was up 12% over 2011 to an average sale price of $421K.

Single family sales in Provincetown were also very strong with 52 sales in 2012 totaling $47M vs. 31 sales for $23M in volume in 2011 – a whopping increase of 104% in volume. The average sale price for a single-family home was up 21% to an average of $912K. Provincetown leads the way on the Cape for positive real estate news and tends to follow the key downtown Boston in performance stats more than other towns on the Cape. Downtown Boston experienced a 23% increase in sales and an average increase in sales price of 5%.

An important development in Provincetown is that inventory of properties for sale has dropped by around 25% since last year at this time. For the past several years the number of condos and single-family homes for sale year after year had remained relatively stable. This market dynamic begins to build a case for spring 2013 being a historically opportune time for those sellers who have been waiting on the sidelines to put their property on the market. This evolving supply and demand dynamic may be the best for sellers in several years.

Other towns on the Outer Cape did well too. The number of sales in Truro was up 49% over 2011 with 97 sales in 2012 vs 65 in 2011 and an increase in total volume of 60% to $51M. The Truro market consists mostly of single-family homes.

In Wellfleet, the number of sales increased 54.5% from 66 sales in 2011 to 102 in 2012 with a total sales volume of $49M, representing a 60% increase. Wellfleet is predominantly a single -family sales market too. These sales and volume increases in both Wellfleet and Truro are representative of the entire outer Cape real estate market.


So, we have heard it from all corners…real estate is back! And nowhere is this more evident than in Provincetown and the outer Cape.

We don’t want to be accused of having “irrational exuberance,” but we are seeing and feeling buyer excitement that we have not seen in many years. But, buyers do need more choices. Sellers are more confident as well that this is the time to sell. These buyer and seller attitudes coupled with a continuation of rock bottom mortgage rates and an improving economy bode well for 2013 being a great year to jump in the market and own a piece of paradise.

Please call or stop in if you are considering selling or if you are just curious as to what your home is worth. Our business philosophy is that the best-informed sellers are the happiest and that is what we do best!




The Gropius House

The Murchison Estate, The Gropius House, 2 Commercial Street.

There are few buildings as startling — in this town of gabled roofs and shingles — as the modernist landmark designed in 1959-60 for Carl and Dorothea Murchison by TAC, The Architects Collaborative, with Robert S. McMillan nominally in charge. Built less than a decade after Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, 2 Commercial Street is a two-level International style slab with walls of glass. Because Walter Gropius (1883-1969) was a partner in TAC, this is frequently referred to in town as the “Gropius house.”



The original Gropius House is the original structure in the Pilgrim Landings “sub division” and sits atop the hill at 2 Commercial Street. See my prior post “Far West End Activity.”

To see more of the original “Gropius House” go to Building Provincetown Blog. David Dunlap has done an incredible job over the years publishing wonderful facts about many Provincetown buildings. His blog is an absolute joy to explore.



Existing Home Sales At Highest

My favorite Agent Genius Blogger Tara’s excellent national real estate analysis provides terrific context as  I begin to post year end local analysis. Anyone can use figures to come up with most any result but clearly consensus is that nationally we are on the road to a housing recovery…and locally  we are in  much better shape than most markets in the US.

by  in Real Estate & Housing News   

Existing home sales are up, prices are improving, inventory is tight, and housing is showing signs of improvement, but the sector has found its bottom and is not recovered, rather starting that long road toward a recovery.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales continued to improve in November with low inventory supply pressuring home prices, rising 5.9 percent for the month, spiking 14.5 percent compared to November 2011. NAR reports that sales are at the highest level since November 2009.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is healthy market demand. “Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation. “With lower rental vacancy rates and rising rents, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes. Areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy show storm-related disruptions but overall activity in the Northeast is up, offset by gains in unaffected areas.”

Median prices, and the impact of distressed properties

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent compared to November 2011, marking the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year price gain, which has not happened since September 2005 to May 2006.

Distressed home sales accounted for 22 percent of November sales (12 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 24.0 percent in October and 29.0 percent in November 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20.0 percent below market value in November, while short sales were discounted 16 percent.

Dr. Yun said, “The market share of distressed property sales will fall into the teens next year based on a diminishing number of seriously delinquent mortgages.”

Inventory levels tightening

Total housing inventory at the end of November fell 3.8 percent to 2.03 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace; it was 5.3 months in October, and is the lowest housing supply since September of 2005 when it was 4.6 months.

Listed inventory is 22.5 percent below a year ago when there was a 7.1-month supply. Raw unsold inventory is now at the lowest level since December 2001 when there were 1.89 million homes on the market.

The median time on market was 70 days in November, slightly below 71 days in October, but is 28.6 percent below 98 days in November 2011. Fully 32.0 percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month, while 20.0 percent were on the market for six months or longer; these findings are unchanged from October.

Buyer types in the market

First time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in November, down from 31 percent in October and 35 percent in November 2011.

All-cash sales were at 30 percent of transactions in November, up slightly from 29 percent in October and 28 percent in November 2011. Investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 19 percent of homes in November, little changed from 20 percent in October; they were 19 percent in November 2011.

Single-family home sales rose 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.44 million in November from 4.21 million in October, and are 12.4 percent higher than the 3.95 million-unit level in November 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent from a year ago.

Regional performance varied

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 6.9 percent to an annual rate of 620,000 in November and are 14.8 percent above November 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $232,900, down 2.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 7.2 percent in November to a pace of 1.19 million and are 21.4 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $141,600, which is 7.0 percent above November 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 7.9 percent to an annual level of 2.04 million in November and are 17.2 percent above November 2011. The median price in the South was $157,400, up 10.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 0.8 percent a pace of 1.19 million in November and are 4.4 percent higher than a year ago. With ongoing inventory constraints, the median price in the West was $248,300, which is 23.9 percent above November 2011.

existing home sales Existing home sales at highest level in four years

Exercising cautious optimism

As opposed to former eras, the NAR is approaching their future forecasting with cautious optimism. Dr. Yun said that the housing market recovery should “continue through coming years” unless the nation falls off of the “fiscal cliff,” and assuming that there are no further limitations on the availability of mortgage credit.

Dr. Yun pointed to improving existing and new home sales and housing starts as all seeing “notable gains this year in contrast with suppressed activity in the previous four years, and all of the major home price measures are showing sustained increases.”

Many economists agree that there are gains being made in housing, but we urge all to note that these signs of improvement are only signs of improvement, and not an actual recovery, as housing is just now moving past bottoming out and we’re finding signs of life which is hopeful, but not yet a recovery.

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Far West End Activity In Provincetown

In the Far West End, from West Vine to The Moors, there are three large developments that have been going up in stages over the past few years. It has been fun to watch these substantial developments emerge from the ground, go to market, and then watch the second phase go up. These 3 developments consist of 6 condos with 6 more being built on W Vine; 17 condos total at Herring Cove village; and 9 single family home sites at Pilgrims Landing. A total of 38 units, a substantial number of quality properties and indicative of the energy and excitement  of the real estate market here in our little fishing village.

(As always my caveat stating that much of the descriptive property below is direct from Cape Cod MLS so I am not responsible for spelling and grammar.)

57 West Vine is currently 6 townhouses with an additional 6 being built.

#C,$659K, 2bedroom and 3 bath, 1300 square feet. New construction townhomes in Provincetown’s west end are underway and can be purchased at pre-completion prices with the opportunity to customize some interior finishes. Constructed to the highest standards these tri-level townhouses feature: Anderson true-divided light windows, brick patios, mahogany decks, landscaped grounds, a/c, basements, laundry, and 2 parking spaces. The exteriors of each unit will be a mix of painted clapboard & gray stained shingles to give contrast to each home. The entry level is an open floor plan for kitchen, dining and living w/ gas fireplace. Each bedroom with ensuite bath is on a separate level to maximize privacy for you and your guest. Oak floors, tile/stone baths, crown molding, & 5-panel doors are just a few of the details that set these homes apart. Your new Provincetown home for summer 2013 awaits!


Phase ll at Herring Cove Village is the last phase of this successful and beautiful development on Bradford Street Ext. out at at the Moors.

#16, $1.399M, 3bedroom and 4 bath,  2,160 square feet. Introducing the brand new, top of the line, model unit for Phase II of Herring Cove Village, the West End’s most luxurious condominium, boasting countless amenities.These spacious free standing homes are built with entertaining in mind. The oversized designer chef’s kitchen is the hub of the floorplan,& features custom cabinetry, Thermador appliances, large custom center island, a contemporary gas fireplace, and conversation area. Sliders from the kitchen lead to a bluestone patio & large exclusive yard. There are beautiful dark stained maple floors and 9 foot+ ceilings throughout. The master suite has a walk in closet and a sleek double sided fireplace between the bedroom and large marble bath. The other 2 BR have ensuite baths. Enjoy water views from a 2-tiered roof deck that houses a hottub. Wired for central sound and home automation.


#12, $895K, 2 bedroom and 3 bath, 1,400 square feet. A one-of-a-kind unit at Herring Cove Village, the West End’s most luxurious condominium. This 2BR/2.5BA unit is laid out on 3 levels, and is the only unit with this size and layout in the newest section of the development. The high end kitchen & living room are on the first floor, with a gas fireplace to warm the atmosphere. Sliders from this level lead out to a blue stone patio, great for outdoor grilling and entertaining. Each of the floors above houses a private bedroom suite, with oversized living space & en-suite bath featuring custom tile work. From the third floor bedroom, continue up to a huge waterview roof deck that is plumbed and wired for a hot tub as an upgrade amenity. The unit has CAC and is wired for central sound and home automation. Shed storage and 2 parking. Under constr, Int. photos depict similar unit.

Pilgrims Landing is a 9 lot subdivision at the very beginning of Commercial Street being developed at what is know as the Murchison Estate. There are two building lots #8 and #9 on Commercial Street and 6 house lots in the gated section of the development. It looks like lot #2  is being built now and when done will be is one of the most dramatic homes in town. It is so exciting to see such a modernist home being built.  Of course the Murchison house, otherwise know as the Gropius House stands atop the subdivision and is lot #7, is one of the most incredible examples of modernist architecture anywhere.

To see more of the original “Gropius House” go to Building Provincetown Blog. David Dunlap has done an incredible job over the years publishing wonderful facts about many Provincetown buildings. His blog is an absolute joy to explore.

Next I will highlight east end and downtown developments. Watch for these posts in the new year.