Back Bay Condo Fees: Today versus 2002
David Bates / November 30, 2012-1:42 pm
I compared the condo fees of Back Bay two-bedrooms which sold in the first half of 2002 with the condo fees of Back Bay two-bedroom condominiums which sold in the first half of 2012. What did I find out?
In the first half of 2002, the median fee for a Back Bay two bedroom condominium which sold was $343. Only two Back Bay condo fees topped $1,000 a month. Citywide, five two-bedroom condos sold in the first half of 2002 with condo fees in excess of $1,000 a month.In the first half of 2012, the median fee for a sold Back Bay two bedroom had increased to $602 and of the 113 Back Bay sold two beds in the first half of 2012, nearly one out of four (26) had condo fees in excess of $1,000 a month. Nine topped $2,000 a month. It gets better, LOL. Four topped $3,000 a month, and one had a condo fee in excess of $5,500 a month. In fact, for the sake of comparison, I counted more than 75 Boston two bedroom condominiums citywide which had condo fees over $1,000 a month. That’s 15 times the total I found in 2002. What happened?
Undoubtedly, the increases in the costs of condo fee staples such as energy, insurance, water and sewer, etc. were part of reason for the increase in the median fee. For example, when 338 Beacon #6 -7 sold in 2002, it had a condo fee of $516 a month. When it sold in 2012, the condo fee was $847. Another factor, however, that had a significant impact on the median fee — and which was also the instigator of super-high condominium fees — was the development of several full service buildings in the Back Bay. Buildings such as One Charles, The Clarendon, and The Mandarin Oriental, which weren’t around in 2002, accounted for about 70% of the Back Bay condo fees over $1,000 a month in the first half of 2012. When you take these newer full service buildings out of the equation, the median condo fee for a Back Bay sold two bedroom in the first half of 2012 is under $500 a month, a significant increase for sure, but a bargain compared to the increase in the price of gas since 2002 (which according to wiki answers was only $1.36 a gallon in 2002).