Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends you would not otherwise see. And check out his new ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets.
In today's low-inventory condo market, Hub buyers are turning to new developments at an unprecedented rate. This, despite the fact that many of these condos can't be occupied for many months. I checked in with some of the Hub's hottest developments to see where things stand.
Millennium Place at 580 Washington Street. In October 2012, the full-service Midtown development known as Millennium Place opened a sales office. A year later, 85 percent of its units are sold and the developer has invited a select few (myself included) to view three newly completed homes that are slated to be the first move-ins on Oct. 15. Almost half the Millennium Place units in the MLS had or have asking prices in excess of $1,000 a square foot, the high being $1,402 a square foot.
Symphony Court at 43 Westland Avenue. This LEED Silver-certified re-development of a parking garage in the Cultural District is on a street that has had only two condominium sales in the history of the MLS. John Ranco, one of its listing brokers, called Symphony Court "a bold move" by the developers, but says that it has been so well-received that they are talking about a Phase II at a nearby site. Most of Symphony Court is priced around $600 a square foot, but the penthouse was listed at a $944 a square foot and has found a buyer. Occupancy is expected in the first quarter of 2014, and brokers say 32 of the 48 unit are under agreement.
The Royal at 407-409 Shawmut Avenue. Tim Caraboolad and partners are developing the former Salvation Army building in the South End on Shawmut Avenue. The 1899 building is attached to a brownstone, has tons of curb appeal, and is located in front of Blackstone Park. The developer made a decision to build fewer, and therefore larger, units at the site. Many of the condos at the modern-lifestyle-meets-historic-building are 2,000-square-foot-plus, floor-through units with direct elevator access and garage parking (attributes a la The Chevron). When I visited (see pics above), I thought the units were so big that the backs might be in a different ZIP code than the fronts. Pricing ranges from $811 to $960 a square foot. Tim says seven of the 12 units have already been spoken for and will be available for occupancy in the summer of 2014.
Sepia at the Ink Bloc at 32 Travelers Street. The National Development project on the former Boston Herald site had a broker's open house last week at the Harrison Street sales office to show off what finishes will look like. The site will feature a Whole Foods, retail and restaurants, and apartments. MLS listing prices are between $859 and $1,076 a square foot. There is no brick or mortar to view and the condos will not be ready for occupancy until 2015. Nonetheless, early birds are said to have already put 28 of the 83 units under agreement.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]