Categories
analytics

Sales Up!

The KCM (Keeping Current Matters) crew is great at visuals. This one represents the general national trend toward rising prices

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range | Keeping Current Matters
The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!

Here is the breakdown:

Percent Change in Sales by Price Range | Keeping Current Matters

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

Categories
analytics trends

Boston Metro Winners And Losers In The Pricing Game

Interesting post by Scott from Boston.com.

Mass.’s Biggest Winners, Losers in the Home Pricing Game

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
iStock

 

By Scott Van Voorhis, Boston.com Correspondent |

 

 

 

 

The difference between the biggest winners and losers when it comes to home prices across Massachusetts can be summed up in a single word: jobs.

Cambridge and nearby cities and suburbs dominated the 2014 list of the top ten gainers in home values over the past decade, reports The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

The epi-center of the tech and life sciences boom, Cambridge led the way with an 80 percent increase in its median home price since 2005, which hit a lofty $1.2 million in 2014.

By contrast, the top 10 losers in value were all beyond the 128 and 495 beltways in economically struggling parts of the state, distant from the wealth and jobs of Greater Boston and Cambridge.

“Proximity to good jobs seems to be the common thread among the top communities,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief of The Warren Group, said in a press release. “Location matters in real estate, and here we see these key communities adding even more in terms of their home values.”

Top 10 winners
 Of the top 10, Somerville (No. 6,) and Belmont (No. 8.) both border Cambridge, while six others are with 5 or 10 miles of the city. Jamaica Plain was No. 2, having seen a 40 percent increase over the last decade that drove the median price of a home in the neighborhood to $700,000.

No. 3 was Lexington, at $950,000 after a 34 percent hike, and it’s practically next door to Cambridge and Somerville, separated only by high-flying Arlington.

After Lexington, there’s South Boston, Brookline, Concord, Newton, and Winchester.

By contrast, hard-hit old industrial towns and cities along Route 2 in North Central Massachusetts took the biggest hits to their home values.

Athol led the way down with a 36 percent plunge that lowered its median price to $115,000, followed by Fitchburg, Orange, and Gardner.

Top 10 losers
Top 10 losers

The Warren Group

 

 

“The extreme decline in median prices in these communities is unfortunate and indicative of the underlying factors occurring in each of these communities,” Warren said.

Three towns from Central Massachusetts also made the losers list: Warren (No. 4), Southbridge (No. 3), and Barre (No. 8).

Rounding off the list were Randolph, the only town in Greater Boston to make the list of the biggest decliners, and New Bedford.

However, rock bottom prices for homes and other real estate could provide some of the ingredients for a comeback for these communities as well, Warren noted.

“In order for prices to rebound, an economic revitalization in these areas needs to occur,” he said. “With low-cost housing abundant, these communities should be able to attract business relocations and start-ups.”

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architecture style

Newbury Street’s Chanel #6

 
Incredible new development at 6 Newbury Street – and  interesting thread of stories from CurbedBoston.com. 

New Twists for Two Raw Spaces at Back Bay’s Chanel No. 6

by Tom Acitelli, December 8, 2014

new2.jpg

 

 

The conversion of a garage at 4-6 Newbury Street in Back Bay is undoubtedly one of the most ballyhooed luxury redevelopments in Boston in eons. We’ve dubbed it Chanel No. 6 (there’s a two-story outlet for the iconic perfume peddler at the building’s base) and the handful of condos above (four or five, depending on whom you read at this point) have commanded some of the biggest Boston sales prices in recent memory. Yet, a lot about Chanel No. 6 remains mysterious.

A titanic part of the mystery stems from the condos being sold as shells. Take Units 301 and 302, the husks of which are pictured above. They traded together in mid-October for a cool $7,250,000 total. The purchaser, Boston Property Development, plans to turn the raw space into “two high-end residential condos for sale in 2015.” In other words, the luxury condos are going to be developed into luxury condos. May you live in interesting times. (H/t Buzz Buzz Home.)

· Chanel No. 6 Coming Into Its Shells Nicely [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Chanel No. 6 coverage [Curbed Boston]

Categories
architecture

Micro-Units Pop Up In Boston

Micro-Units Pop Up in Boston, Fetch High Prices

 

A great repost from Scott.

One Seaport Square, which broke ground earlier this month, will include 96 “innovation units” ranging 300 to 500 square feet in size.
One Seaport Square, which broke ground earlier this month, will include 96 “innovation units” ranging 300 to 500 square feet in size.

Elkus Manfredi

 

 

 

 

The new breed of micro units popping up in Boston and Cambridge’s hottest neighborhoods are definitely small, but they are packing some macro rents.

The micro revolution took a major step forward earlier this month when developers broke ground in Boston’s Seaport District on a $600 million, twin tower, apartment, retail, and entertainment complex.

One Seaport Square will include 96 “innovation units,” studios and one-bedrooms ranging from 365 to 685 square feet in size. Targeted at up-and-coming entrepreneurs and young professionals, it is the largest number of micro units to be built to date in Boston.

Developers are mum on the prices for the tiny new apartments, which will have a wing of their own in the VIA tower. Overall 832 luxury apartments are slated to be built in the VIA and an adjacent tower, The Benjamin.

But if the prices set by other developers for these postage stamped size apartments is any indication, they won’t come cheap.

A 464-square foot unit at 315 on A next door in Fort Point rents for $2,700 to $2,800 a month.

Innovation units at Factory 63 leased out at roughly $1,700 a month when that hip new Fort Point rental building hit the market last year. The units are a sprawling 374 square feet.

Across the Charles River in Cambridge, the pricing is similarly high. At Avalon North Point, pricing for micro lofts starts at roughly $2,000 for 421 square feet, rising to around $2,100 for 450 square feet.

For developers, it is the best of both worlds. They get to offer units at a somewhat lower overall price point in a market where $3,000 and up for space in a new rental tower is the norm, while also maintaining a high cost-per-square foot ratio, notes Vivien Li, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association and a long-term observer of new waterfront development trends.

Take a $1,700/month micro unit, double it to the size of a one bedroom, and suddenly you are at $3,400 a month.

But developers are also trying to create units that will appeal to younger renters, offering up common space that can be used for everything from working on a startup to meeting new friends.

One Seaport’s new innovation units will have their own separate wing, with common “collaboration spaces” for budding entrepreneurs to team up on projects and swap ideas. Those renting the innovation units will also have access to an array of common areas planned for the VIA tower itself, most of which will be luxury units.

The VIA will have outdoor lounges, water features, grilling areas and gardens, according to a press release detailing the project.

And while living in a micro unit could prove cramped and maybe even a bit lonely, pet friendly policies at One Seaport and 315 on A can ensure at least a little cuddly comfort.

“The innovation unit is where you sleep and keep your clothes,” Li noted. “When you want to socialize, you have these large common areas.”

“It’s one step up from a dorm room,” she added.

Categories
trends

Boston Seaport Buildings May Rein In Rents

 

Good post by Scott at Boston.com. Check out the gorgeous renderings.

One Seaport Square May Rein In Boston’s Runaway Rents

 

Rendering of One Seaport Square, slated to open in 2017.
Rendering of One Seaport Square, slated to open in 2017.

Elkus Manfredi
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston.com Correspondent

Take that, rising rents. More than 800 new apartments are poised to take shape near Boston’s waterfront in a massive project so large it might just help rein in the Hub’s runaway rents.

Developers of the $600 million One Seaport Square broke ground Friday on the 1.5-million-square-foot project, just across the street from Fan Pier and the new ICA in Boston’s Seaport/Innovation District.

A centerpiece of the new development will be a pair of new towers, 20 and 22 stories tall, that will be packed with 832 apartments ranging from tiny “innovation units” to spacious luxury digs.

Slated to open in 2017, the new development will put more new apartments on the market in Boston than any single project in decades.

The two towers, named VIA and The Benjamin, will come with an array of shared spaces, including gardens, places to grill, lounges, and a heated outdoor pool overlooking the skyline.

“When you bring so many new apartments, the market will adjust,” predicts Vivien Li, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association and a long-time observer of development along the city’s waterfront. “What we may find is that rents may start to level out.”

The new development will also feature oodles of new places to eat and shop, with 250,000 square feet of retail space planned for the largest shopping and dining venue yet in the Seaport. Coming attractions include the upscale ShowPlace ICON Theater, a Kings Bowl, and an Equinox fitness center.

The project is the work of a trio of high-powered developers. Veteran tower builder John Hynes, son of legendary newscaster Jack Hynes and grandson of one of Boston’s influential mayors of the last century, snapped up the sprawling collection of parking lots nearly a decade ago.

He later teamed up with the Berkshire Group and WS Development, which has rolled out a number of suburban life-style centers, including The Street in Newton and Legacy Place in Dedham.

“One Seaport Square will be our largest project in Boston,” Hynes said in a statement. “It will set the tone for just how dynamic this new neighborhood will be in all categories: commercial, residential, shopping, dining and entertainment. We cannot wait to bring it to life.”

While Hynes and his partners are mum on what rents will be for the new apartments, the developers say they aren’t looking to do just another luxury rental high-rise, but are aiming to have a wider range of apartments.

The innovation units in particular, will be aimed at young professionals, with relatively tiny apartments featuring just a few hundred square feet of space aimed at offering a more reasonable rent. But the luxury apartments are likely to draw a wide range of prospective tenants, including wealthy empty nesters attracted to the cachet of Boston’s vibrant and growing waterfront, Li said.

The apartments will join a neighborhood that’s seeing billions in new construction take shape, from office and hotel towers, to luxury condos and a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Just across the street at Fan Pier, waterfront developer Joe Fallon has been selling dozens of multimillion-dollar condos.

“The market has really made this area hot,” Li said.

 

Aerial view of the One Seaport Square location.
Aerial view of the One Seaport Square location.

Hannah Cohen for Boston.com

 

Approximate views from the One Seaport Square location.
Approximate views from the One Seaport Square location.

Mike Diskin

 

Approximate nighttime view from the One Seaport Square location.
Approximate nighttime view from the One Seaport Square location.

Mike Diskin
Categories
analytics style

Cost Of Waterfront Homes

 

A fun if not oversimplified post from Zillow.com.

 

What Would You Pay to Live on the Water?

 AUTHOR:, Zillow blog

Millions of Americans dream of one day owning a home on the water, and for good reason: The views are often to die for, the array of activities is seemingly endless and the peace of mind gained by knowing you’ll never have a neighbor on at least one side of your home is priceless. But the very things that make waterfront living so appealing can also make it incredibly expensive.

Nationwide, the typical oceanfront or lakefront single-family home is worth more than double the median value of all homes, and in some communities the median waterfront house could be worth more than 10 times the median value of non-waterfront houses, according to a new analysis by Zillow. The median single-family home in the U.S. is worth about $171,600, while the median waterfront house is valued at $370,900, a waterfront premium of 116.1 percent.

Zillow analyzed the 250 largest communities with at least 100 waterfront homes. The analysis only considered oceanfront homes or those on a lake larger than 10 square kilometers. Homes also had to be within 150 feet of the waterline to be considered waterfront. Riverfront and water-view homes were not considered.

Overall, the most expensive waterfront homes are found in communities in coastal California. Laguna Beach tops this list with median waterfront home values of almost $10.1 million. Malibu ($6.3 million) and Hermosa Beach ($4.8 million) round out the top three.

The most affordable waterfront homes in the country are found in Holiday, FL, with median waterfront home values of $103,000. In the top 10 least valuable waterfront communities, eight of the remaining nine cities with the cheapest waterfront homes are located in Florida. In other words, potential buyers looking for the lowest entry point into the waterfront market should consider the lesser-known cities of the Sunshine State.

Among the largest of the 250 cities analyzed (those with populations of 100,000 or greater), the biggest difference between median non-waterfront single-family home values and median waterfront house values are in Tampa (waterfront premium of 733 percent), Honolulu (waterfront premium of 334.5 percent) and Long Beach, CA (waterfront premium of 321.6 percent).

“The allure of ocean and lakefront living is powerful and undeniable, and millions of homeowners nationwide dream of one day owning a home on the water. But those dreams come at a price,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “Waterfront properties are both relatively scarce and highly coveted, and that high demand and limited supply leads to higher home prices. Additionally, added insurance, floods, environmental mitigation and infrastructure costs are often part of the tab when buying a waterfront home. Still, as long as buyers understand the added costs and potential headaches, waterfront living is likely to remain one of life’s simple pleasures for many, many years to come.”

Information on all 250 cities analyzed can be found on Zillow Research here.

Blog_ZHVI_Zillow_Sept2014_a_01

Categories
general info

Boston Metro Luxury Town Rundown

 

Interesting post from Scott about the “W” towns.

 

Luxury Towns

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis

Thumbnail image for 190 Pond Road, Wellesley.jpg

The luxury market is red hot right now. And the suburban epicenter for multimillion-dollar home sales in the Bay State can be found in the suburbs of Wellesley and Weston.

High-end sales have always been big in these two coveted suburbs. Now both towns are nearing the point where practically all sales are in the luxury price ranges, a new report by Wellesley-based Pinnacle Residential Properties finds.

A total of 274 homes were sold in Wellesley and Weston during the first seven months of 2014. Of these, just ten homes changed hands for $600,000 or less, with just three selling for less than $400,000.

By contrast, more than twice as many homes in the two W towns – 21 – sold for $3 million and up through the end of July, Pinnacle finds. (This five bed, eight bath manse, at 190 Pond Road in Wellesley, is now on the market for $5.2 million after a price cut of $100,000.)

Another 131 homes sold in the $1 million to $2 million price range during the same period in Wellesley and Weston, the report finds.

So as the W towns go, so goes the state? Well, not exactly. Still, luxury sales are on fire in upper income towns and neighborhoods across Massachusetts right now. The number of homes fetching $3 million and up has jumped by more than 30 percent compared to 2013, Pinnacle reports.

“It has certainly been a strong year for the trade-up and luxury markets,” writes Elaine Bannigan, the report’s author and owner and founder of Pinnacle Residential Properties.

 

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general info

What to Watch For This Fall In Boston Real Estate- Curbedboston.com

 

Very good post by Tom at curbedboston.com.

 

What to Watch This Fall in Greater Boston Real Estate

by Tom Acitelli

Christian%20Science%20tower%2C%20rendering.jpg

[Rendering from Pei Cobb Freed/Cambridge 7 Associates via the Globe]
‘Tis the unofficial start of autumn/fall this week with the passing of Labor Day, so we thought we’d dive into which trends and events in Greater Boston Real Estate Land are worth your attention in the next few months (they’re certainly things we’ll be following). Will Boston see its first $20M condo sale? Will Everett get a casino-resort? Will Revere? Can anything bring Hub apartment rents down? Come along, now, let’s get interested.

The Great Luxury Apartment Pivot
This is a phenomenon already under way and it could really pick up steam this fall: the conversion of under-construction or planned luxury apartment complexes into luxury condos. There are two big reasons for this: a dearth of available condos, especially in downtown Boston (more on this in a bit); and too many new luxury apartments going up, especially in downtown Boston (more on this, too, in a bit). Higher demand in a red-hot condo market also makes this move deliciously appealing.

Up, Up and Away Go Condo Prices
Condo sales prices throughout the region have been scaling up for many months now. Take downtown Boston (please… no, seriously…). It’s entirely likely that as you read this that area’s average condo price is $1,000,000 or more. Limited supply + seemingly insatiable demand + maddening opposition to new development + historically low (for now) mortgage rates = sellers asking, and getting, more and more—a trend sure to continue this fall.

And the Rents Came Tumbling Down (Sort Of)
We called a luxury apartment glut a while ago and it looks like it’s here. Newer developments are starting to offer mad-crazy incentives to lure tenants (two free months?!) and others are taking their sweet time leasing up. Add to this surplus of supply a greater number of vacancies in general and you’ve got the seeds of gradually lower rents, particularly at the higher-end. We think this fall will mark the end, at least for a while, of $3,000-a-month studios. It was a helluva run.

Mass. Rolls the Dice on Everett or Revere 
Mark your calendars: Friday, Sept. 12. That is when the state gaming commission is set to designate either Everett or Revere as host city of eastern Massachusetts’ casino-resort. Yes, it seems like the wrangling has been going on forever (and it has: Massachusetts has already taken longer than any other state on its casino licensing, according to The New York Times); but the deadline for a decision is clearly in sight this fall. But! So is another deadline of sorts: Election Day on Nov. 4, when voters will have a chance to repeal the 2011 law O.K.’ing casinos.

The March Toward Boston’s First $20M Condo Begins
Construction on the massive pair of towers (massive for Boston, at least) at the Christian Science Plaza is likely to start this fall. The taller of the two towers will be quite swanky, with condos and hotel rooms managed by the Four Seasons brand (the tower’s rendered above, to the left of the Pru). Speculation has already started as to whether this699-foot spire, destined to be the tallest residential one in Boston, will host the city’s first-ever $20,000,000 condo deal. Allow us to add to the speculation: Yes, or the tower going atop Copley Place will.

As always, dear reader, stay tuned.

Categories
general info

Summer Sizzle

 

Good post from Scott.

 

More Sellers Make Summer Sizzle

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis

Plymouth_Harbor.JPG
Summer is typically a sleepy time for the real estate market, but not this year.

“For sale” signs are popping up across Greater Boston and other parts of the state, with a significant uptick in homes hitting the market, says Peter Ruffini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

That, in turn, is likely to mean good news for home buyers stressed over rising prices, Ruffini says.

Certain communities, like Plymouth, seen above, are particularly seeing a pick-up in listings.

Several dozen additional homes have hit the market in Plymouth this summer, providing a significant boost to the market, notes Ruffini, a regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. in Hanover.

That’s significant given the coastal town is often a bellwether for the South Shore real estate market, he says.

“The good news is that there are fewer (sellers) sitting on the sidelines than there were earlier this year,” Ruffini says.

Overall, June saw 8,418 homes hit the market across the state, a 13 percent jump over the same period in 2013, MAR numbers show.

More listings, in turn, could also take some of the pressure off buyers, who are too often faced with bidding wars given the long-standing shortage of homes on the market, he says.

And while the median home price in Massachusetts hasn’t quite caught up to where it was during the housing bubble years in the mid-2000s, Ruffini is OK with that.

“In my view the market recovery is more about sustainability and affordability,” Ruffini says. “It has to be a sustainable market.”

Cheers to that.

Categories
general info

Four Seasons – Big Prices!

WOW! Great post by Scott.

Coming Attractions: Big Apple Condo Prices

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis

Christian Science tower, rendering.jpg

Take a good look at the glimmering new condo and hotel skyscraper in this rendering.

This 58-story spire, slated to take shape next to the Christian Science Plaza in the Back Bay, is one of a trio of new towers poised to bring New York condo prices to the Hub.

The new $700 million Christian Science tower, recently approved by Boston City Hall, will feature the Four Seasons brand, with 180 super-luxury condos on the top forty floors. Construction is expected to kick off next year, with a planned 2017 opening.

The new Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing, now under construction, will hit 56 stories.

And Don Chiofaro’s proposed new harborside tower complex would top out at 55 stories, crowned by 120 multimillion-dollar units.

There’s talk of these new skyline-topping condos fetching $4,000 or even $5,000 a square foot.

That’s double or more what the most expensive condos are selling for right now in Boston, with a penthouse at the Mandarin Oriental holding the record after fetching more than $13 million a few years ago.

Double that number and you get an idea of what the future may hold for Boston’s already crazy condo market – penthouses overlooking vast stretches of Eastern Massachusetts selling for $25 million and up.

OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Kevin Ahearn, chief executive of Otis & Ahearn, a top Boston luxury condo marketing and brokerage firm, says we will just have to wait and see how prices shake out.

Still, these super-luxury condos atop Boston’s bejeweled skyline will be in a league of their own.

“These new towers will offer five-star living and drop dead views,” Ahearn says. “It’s alpha luxury and it will create a new category.”

The new skyscrapers biggest draw, besides sheer luxury, will be their height. While 58-story towers are no big deal by New York standards, they are a very big deal in the Hub.

The tallest condo towers in Boston currently max out after 40 or so stories. Not bad, but still shrimps by Big Apple standards.