Boston Real Estate Market 2017
As is the trend in large cities throughout the United States, many major corporations are either establishing or relocating their headquarters in the heart of Boston's urban district. The result is record-high prices for both single-family homes and condos and a record-low inventory that can't keep up with the demand. Because of the low inventory, sales have dropped, and prices for properties continue to rise.
Since 2004, sales, inventory and number of days on the market have all decreased in the Greater Boston area. Over the period, sales of single-family homes decreased 2.2 percent, while sales of condos decreased 4.3 percent. During the same period, the median price of a single-family home rose over 13 percent to $600,000, while the median price of a condo rose nearly 9 percent to over $525,000. At the same time, the inventory of single-family homes dropped nearly 30 percent, while the inventory of condos dropped nearly 18 percent. The average number of days on the market decreased around 24 percent for both single-family homes and condos. In Boston, the average price per square foot is currently $62.
The Boston Metro area, which includes communities within a 15-mile radius of downtown, has shown similar trends over the period. The median price of both single-family homes and condos rose about 8 percent. As in Greater Boston, the inventory of single-family homes decreased nearly 30 percent. The inventory of condos in Metro Boston decreased 12 percent. While condo sales in Metro Boston dropped about the same percentage as in Greater Boston, single-family home sales in Metro Boston actually increased 1.5 percent.
For those willing to pay the price, there is available housing in the Boston area,
Currently experiencing a renaissance in construction, Boston's Seaport District is the city's fastest-growing neighborhood and the site of a growing number of luxury condo projects.
One such recently-constructed condo complex in the Seaport District, Pier 4, offers over 100 boutique residences overlooking the scenic Boston Harbor. Directly across the street from the Institute of Contemporary Art, or ICA, and within walking distance of downtown Boston, Pier 4 offers its residents convenient access to fine dining and shopping and recreational opportunities. Pier 4 is considered among Boston's most desirable communities.
Pier 4 residents can enjoy the ultimate in upscale living right at home. The Fairway simulated golf course room lets golfers enjoy the green no matter what the weather is like outdoors. With a high-tech fitness center on site, there's no need to drive to the gym.
Without ever leaving the ground floor of the complex, Pier 4 residents can take advantage of 40,000 square feet of retail space, which houses the finest in high-end dining and shopping. Overlooking the Boston Waterfront, the private lounge with terrace is perfect for entertaining on those special occasions.
Each luxurious Pier 4 residence features fine hardware flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Heralded as the "most luxurious building in the Seaport District," 22 Liberty on Fan Pier houses over 100 condos within a 14-story complex of steel and glass. Surrounded by a public green and the Harbor Walk, the Boston Waterfront's public walkway, 22 Liberty affords its residents convenient access to public transportation via the nearby South Station Transportation Center.
Residents of 22 Liberty have a wide variety of condos from which to choose. The units range in size from the 500-square-foot studio units to the 3,200-plus square-foot, three-bedroom units, each one featuring a library and fireplace. Each unit features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Boston Waterfront, Boston Harbor and Boston Financial District. Lower-floor condos feature ceilings from 10 to 12 feet high, while penthouse condos feature stately 13-foot-high ceilings.
All 22 Liberty residents have the privilege of using Stretch 22, the community's private gym, the exclusive Harbor Club dining facility and a private marina.
The newly-developed Lovejoy Wharf on the Boston Waterfront is a 15-story residential complex that houses over 150 condo units. Within walking distance of Lovejoy Wharf is the center of Boston's North End where residents can enjoy boutique shopping and fine dining at a choice of more than 100 restaurants and cafes. Located near North Station, Lovejoy Wharf offers its residents convenient access to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, subway and commuter train and Amtrak.
Ranging from 700 square feet to over 1,800 square feet, the one, two, and three-bedroom condos feature floor-to-ceiling windows that let residents take in spectacular views of the Boston Harbor, kitchens with custom-designed cabinets and state-of-the-art appliances and marble bathrooms.
On-site amenities at Lovejoy Wharf include two restaurants with outdoor patios, a lounge, library, billiards room, rooftop terrace and fitness facilities.
Boston Common Living
The Boston Common is often considered one of the most prestigious locations to live in America. It is also America's oldest public park. Some of nation's most luxurious highrises are located on the historic Boston Common, such as the Ritz, Grandview, Tremont on the Common, 1 Charles, and the Archstone. Tremont on the Common, located at 151 Tremont Street, has a 24hr doorman, concierge services, state-of-the-art fitness center, and a pool. The Parkside is another extremely nice option, and 1 bedroom condos for sale usually start around $450,000. Rentals in the Parkside usually start around $1500 for a studio, and $2,000 for a 1 bedroom.
The brand new Archstone Boston Common, is the only all rental full-service luxury building in the area. It has a 24hr doorman, fitness center, indoor pool, internet cafe, walnut hardwood floors, and laundry in the unit. Many units feature a private balcony, and offer spectacular views of the Boston Common, Back Bay, and the Boston Harbor. Rentals in the building usually start around $2500 for a 1 bedroom, and $3500 for a 2 bedroom. Condoss at the Grandview for sale usually start at over $1,000,000. 1 Charles St is another ultra modern full-service luxury building. It features a 24hr doorman, valet parking, and was built in 2004.
Condos for sale in the Ritz Carlton usually start in the high $500,000's, and condo fees usually start around $1,000/mo. Apartments for rent in the Ritz Carlton usually start around $3,500. The Ritz Carlton, located at 3 Avery Street, was built in 2000 & is one of Boston's most expensive luxury buildings. It features a 24hr doorman, award winning restaurant, as well as a Sports Club L.A. There is currently a penthouse available for rent at the Ritz Carlton for $30,000/mo. One bedroom condos in Tremont on the Common usually start around $450,000. The Grandview, located at 165 Tremont Street, has some of the most amazing views in downtown Boston. There is currently a 2-bedroom available for rent for $10,000/mo. The Parkside on the Common, at 170 Tremont St, features a 24hr concierge, valet parking, a gym, a roof deck, and some of the most incredible views in the downtown Boston area.
Boston Foreclosures rarely seen Downtown
It seems that every time I pick up the local newspaper, I read about the doom and gloom of Boston foreclosures, and how the world is about to end. I am a real estate broker, and receive requests for "foreclosures around the Boston Common" and "Back Bay foreclosures" on almost a weekly basis. Here's the story about foreclosures in Boston: they hardly even exist in Downtown Boston. The foreclosure crisis came about in part because of mortgage brokers giving loans to just about anyone, even people with horrible credit and hardly any income. Downtown Boston is one of the wealthiest areas on the planet, and foreclosures are usually rampant in low income neighborhoods. Yes, its true there is a crisis in the state, and the rest of the country -- foreclosures in Massachusetts went up 128% in January 2008 alone.
However, foreclosures in Beacon Hill, North End, Financial District, and Fenway are going to be rare. I very rarely come across foreclosures in luxury condo buildings such as the Ritz Carlton, and One Charles -- however they do occur, and I have seen condos foreclosed in high end luxury buildings --- but they are extremely rare. Even if there were foreclosures in each building, I doubt anyone would be getting a deal on any of these Boston MA foreclosures because there are 100's maybe 1000's of people who would be looking to buy the same condo -- and the condo would probably be sold at market value. Over 700 properties fell into foreclosure last year in Boston, and most were in low income neighborhoods outside of Downtown. Many of these foreclosures were due to the subprime mortgage market filled with dishonest predatory lenders who preyed on these unsuspecting buyers.
Boston Investment Properties Hold Steady
The values of investment properties in Boston are holding a steady value. Boston is one of the very few cities hardly touched by the nationwide real estate bubble burst. There are many reasons behind this. Besides being an extremely beautiful, wonderful, historic, and exciting to live in -- and the infrastructure is extremely strong. Boston is home to some of the best schools & hospitals in the entire world, which make it a city where people all across the world will compete to live in.
Investing in Boston real estate has historically been a stable option. Even with the current nation-wide real estate crisis, Downtown Boston was hardly touched. Real estate markets in cities such as Miami, for instance, have nearly completely crashed.
Investors from all over the world have been buying properties in Boston as worldwide currencies have been going up. 300,000 Euro, for instance, could hardly buy a 1 bedroom condo in the Back Bay 10 years ago, now it can buy a luxury 2-bedroom condo. Europeans know this might not last too much longer, and Boston real estate is a great investment.
The rental market in Boston is one of the strongest in the world, as there is a high demand to live in the city due to all of the schools, hospitals, and jobs. Many Fortune 500 companies are located in Boston, as well as satellite locations to mega corporations such as Google.
There is also an extremely high demand for rentals and sales in next door neighbor Cambridge. Cambridge is home to 2 of the world's best universities: Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is also home to a booming biotech industry.
Boston Luxury Real Estate Market Booming
The Boston Luxury Real Estate market is booming, and there are no signs it will slow down anytime soon. It seems that everywhere you look in Downtown Boston, there are cranes & construction sites with new luxury condo developments underway. Despite the everyday news headlines of record foreclosures, and bubbles bursting -- sales of condos over $1,000,000 were up an astonishing 8% in 2007.
There are currently dozens of new construction projects underway in the city of Boston, including 45 Province, a 32-story 145 unit luxury high rise steps from the Boston Common; and 104-unit Battery Wharf on the North End Waterfront, with units starting at $1.15 million. Both of these buildings are expected to sell out quickly. There has been many changes in the Boston real estate market in the last few years.
The South End, for instance, was one of the least desirable neighborhoods to live in -- and now, it is one of the most sought after, and expensive. The South Boston Waterfront (also known as The Seaport District), was mainly fish piers and abandoned warehouses --- and now has become one of the hottest neighborhoods to live in. The Leather District, which is the area around South Station, is experiencing a huge boom in luxury condo & luxury loft developments. The Back Bay is seeing a multitude of luxury developments being built, including 285 Columbus Lofts, The Clarendon, and the Mandarin Oriental Residences next to the Prudential Center. Right over the bridge in Cambridge, the 45-acre Northpoint project is underway, an is slated to be a "city within a city" with approximately 2,700 luxury condos, and over 2.2 million square feet of commercial space.