Head down Arlington Street past Stuart Street and if you’ve had your morning coffee, you just might notice that tucked into the left is the majority of Boston’s smallest neighborhood, Bay Village. Due to its proximity, some may easily confuse Bay Village as being part of Back Bay or the South End, but the members of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association know it is a distinctly different neighborhood and “consider it to be the friendliest, most dynamic and most conveniently located neighborhood in Boston.” They may have a point.
When I think of buildings in Bay Village, I think of historic-era brick-buildings with exceptionally small footprints. Those definitely were the characteristics of the four-family I recently sold there which was built in 1899 (34 Melrose Street). But not so with the development at 12 Piedmont. This building is brand new. So, I took a look at the penthouse three bed, two-and-a-half bath, and thought it was pretty cool. It has modern finishes, European appliances and a roof deck with terrific city views. It did not have parking, but Bay Village might be the easiest Boston neighborhood to secure rental parking. Of the six units constructed at 12 Piedmont, only two duplexes are still available for purchase. Unit #1, a lower duplex with 1,875 square feet is on the market for $1.399 million. The penthouse, a bit smaller at 1,147 square feet, can be purchased for $1.099 million.
The real estate news menu typically only has two things on it: A story about an interesting home that has recently come for sale or a report from the Association of Realtors as to current market conditions. If you want a little variety in your real estate news diet–especially if you are curious, passionate, or absorbed by the market or your own real estate goals—consider trying the following dishes.
This FREE, snack-sized, ebook is an excellent reference for Greater Boston condominium buyers and sellers. Not only do the neighborhood profiles found in CONTEXT make it easy to see how a specific condominium compares to other condominiums typically sold in a neighborhood, CONTEXT also clearly shows how nine of the most important and most valuable Greater Boston condominium neighborhoods compare on 17 different metrics. Get CONTEXT, before you buy or sell.
Inside the Condominium Market is a FREE dinner time presentation with a tapas-style approach covering a wide variety of the best and most frequently asked real estate questions, such as, Is Now a Good Time to Buy Or Sell, how has the market changed, and what’s the best way to get what I want in real estate. Presenters of this real estate information feast include an agent, an attorney, and a loan officer. To go to the registration page, click.
Five Benefits is a great starting point for folks who have distinct real estate tastes, namely that they are thinking about buying a Greater Boston condo or multifamily and renting it out. This educational presentation will show how a simple real estate investment has many benefits and numerous returns on investment. Some may equate the knowledge gained to a wine tasting symposium, in that attendees of Five Benefits will leave with a sophisticated understanding of real estate investment process and benefits. Space is limited. To go to registration page
Is the Brookline condominium market bulletproof? As a local real estate broker and long- time resident of Coolidge Corner, I wonder. You might wonder too if you consider the following occurrences.
After real estate Armageddon occurred in the fall of 2008, the median price of Brookline condominiums in 2009 went up, not down, rising from $440K to $455K. In 2009, Brookline also sold 32 million dollar condos, far above the 21 it had been averaging over the previous four years.
In 2010, Brookline’s median condominium sale price appreciated again, this time to $468K.And in 2011, a time when one out of every seven Massachusetts condominium sales was either a short-sale or lender owned (my analysis of MLS data), only one out of every 78 Brookline condo, sales were in similar states of distress. That year Brookline’s median condo sale price, of course, rose once again, this time to $490K.
In 2012, consumer confidence went up and so did the Brookline’s median condo price and sales transactions counts. The median condo sale price topped $500K and about 25% of Brookline’s condos sold in less than seven days of market time.
In the first nine months of 2013, nearly 63% of Brookline condo sales went for more than the asking price, 10 condo sales garnered offers at least $100K over-ask, and one , 64 Parkman #3, took an offer that was $215,593 over-ask. For the fifth year in a row the town’s median sales price went up, this time topping $542K. And although only nine months of the year have gone by, Brookline has already has 47 million dollar condo sales.
Looking a t these numbers, however, makes me think that maybe the Brookline condominium market isn’t just bullet proof, maybe it has real estate super powers too. LOL.
(Join me October 17 for Inside the Condominium Market)
Walk Score is a popular real estate site whose rating system for locations is almost a part of the urban real estate lexicon. The popular site considers a location and describes what’s nearby, transportation choices and what locals are saying. And although the Walk Score has begun to include many more things about the neighborhood, there may be some things about a neighborhood that are left unsaid, like “is it safe?” That tricky question was apparently the inspiration for David Foster to create a site where folks reviewed locations based on safety, rating them as safe, above average, average, below average, or unsafe. Reviewers also had the option to leave a comment.
The site, GhettoTracker.com, debuted in mid-September and of course its name as well as the randomly generated picture on the home page– which was often of minorities– caused a hubbub. Many media outlets ran stories questioning whether it was racist. The developer pulled the site from the net and considered changing the name, but in an interview posted on the site’s blog said that after he talked to his team and considered the customer feedback the site was generating, he decided not to change the name. The site was put back up and the the fact that it had gone off-line briefly was attributed to it being in beta.
This site says it can “help you determine which parts of town are safe and which parts are not” and that such information can benefit “ students, traveling professionals, people on vacation, anyone moving to a new city, and it can even help people become more familiar with their own city.”
GhettoTracker has reviews for more than 100 Greater Boston locations, but is the site’s name reasonable or racist? You be the judge.
A couple of facts about the five highest Brookline condo sales of the year (so far).
The living area ranged from 2,437 square feet to 4,294 square feet.
All five had garage parking, but only one had five garage parking spaces.
The locations were diverse: One was in Coolidge Corner, one was in Longwood, two were in Fisher hill and one was located in Washington Square.
For more insights about the market, join me on October 17th at Inside the Condo Market.
A couple of facts about the highest South End condominium sales so far this year:
- They ranged from 2,119 square feet to 3,400 square feet.
- Four were marketed as three bedrooms and one was marketed as only two bedrooms.
- Two had garage parking, two had only outdoor parking, and one had no parking.
- All had outdoor space, decks or patios.
- In the listing remarks, only two touted views,
- One was in a full service building. Four were not.
(For more insights about the market, join me October 17 at Inside the Condominium Market)
In Back Bay, a market that claimed nine of the ten highest condominium sales of the year, I took a look at the five lowest sales.
What’s it like to own on the cheap in Back Bay?
Buyers of the least expensive Back Bay condominiums enjoy some common features.
- All five had less than 400 square feet of living space.
- All five were studios. None had a bedroom.
- Four of the five of the low sales were on a level that it was necessary to take stairs down–not up—to get to them.
As for the cheapest sale of the year so far, all I can say is the 290 square foot ground level condominium looked like the cheapest Back Bay sale of the year. For a few pics of it, click.
If you want to know the location of the ten highest condo sales in Boston for the year, you might as well ask for the 10 highest condo sales in Back Bay. There’s almost no difference. In fact 11 of the top 12 condo sales in MLS in 2013 have belonged to Back Bay. The only other neighborhood to have a condo sale place in the Top 10 was Beacon Hill.
Some of the sales were located in high rises and some were located in the classic brick buildings of yesteryear, but only one of these sales was for a two bedroom. Can you guess which?
In Back Bay, I found over 850 agents listed in the MLS.
It seems like a lot considering only 543 condos sold in Back Bay last year.
How many Realtors does it take to sell all the properties that come up for sale in Massachusetts each year?
Ditto if you want to find out how many home inspectors, certified residential appraisers, or Realtors there are in the Bay State.
If you live in one of the ten neighborhoods I broke down agent counts for, you can find that out too!
If you do not see your neighborhood broken down, lol, email me and I am happy to send you the agent count for your area.
I’m generally not a big fan of Ellen, but I am a big fan of real estate and her reading of this real estate ad might make it the funniest that I have ever heard. Wait for it, as it starts on the 58 second mark of the linked video.
Check it out.
Sign up and get my free ebook.
This book is a great reference for buyers and sellers, who will quickly see how condos and neighborhoods compare. The short paragraphs and many visuals make it easy reading.
Get CONTEXT before you buy or sell!
About David Bates
The Bates Real Estate Report is an original content blog about the Greater Boston real estate market. The reports focus primarily on the Greater Boston condominium market, and at the same time can touch on other items of interest and happenings of note in the general Boston market. It is written by a real estate agent who works the condo market and who has a passion for Boston real estate. In addition to this blog, his commentary on the market can now be seen in a variety of leading local real estate publications. If you like his insights, obviously, you should consider using him as an agent.
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