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Boston Condo Fees by Neighborhood: Beware Studios, Brighton

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Monthly association fees are an inescapable part of ownership at the vast majority of condo buildings in the Boston region, and they vary greatly. To make better sense of what owners pay, and can expect to pay, real estate research site NeighborhoodX broke down average monthly fees per square foot by neighborhood. The analysis looked at market-rate units in January in predominantly mid-rise buildings that did not include parking or in which fees also included taxes.
Perhaps most surprisingly, association fees for studios in Back Bay, the Seaport District and the South End were significantly higher than those for larger apartments in the same neighborhoods. In Back Bay, in fact, the gulf was as wide as 19 cents per square foot on average. It would seem that just as landlords can make a mint from studios, so can management companies.

Less surprisingly, association fees in luxury concierge buildings were a lot higher ($1.45 per square foot on average) than in some triple-deckers (10 to 15 cents per square foot).

These triple-deckers and small, self-managed buildings had the lowest monthly overhead among non-concierge buildings, according to NeighborhoodX. At the other end of the non-concierge fee spectrum, buildings in Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the Seaport averaged 59 to 69 cents a foot. And! Stunningly enough, fees in non-concierge buildings in Brighton were among the highest in the city for that property type, at 62 cents a foot on average.

As for concierge buildings, according to NeighborhoodX, fees in those averaged from 82 cents to $1.03 a foot, and sometimes a lot higher. In the South End's Atelier505, for instance, fees averaged $1.45 a foot (or $3,352 a month for a 2,317-square-foot condo). In Harvard Square, the Riverview averaged $1.11 a foot and the Longview $1.16. Jamaica Plain's 111 Perkins Street average $1.04.

Finally, as to be expected, some neighborhoods saw particular diversity because of their housing stock. In Somerville's go-go Union Square, fees ranged from 13 cents a square foot on average at the Two Squares complex to 49 cents at Union Place. In Davis Square, the overall average was 23 cents, while the residences at 30 Chester Street were 48 cents, a premium, according to NeighborhoodX, of 109 percent over average fees in the neighborhood.
· Monthly Association Fees, January 2016 [NeighborhoodX]
· What Studios Rent for in Different Boston Neighborhoods [Curbed Boston]