As we slide into the final days of the first week of the new year, let us join hands and wish fervently for certain oft-voiced and -reported trends to pass forever, for now, from the shared lexicon until there’s more proof of their worthiness.
We’re not talking about tropes re: listings or design, but meta-memes about development, pricing, gentrification, and transportation—the things that make living here such a joy and a challenge—that are more wishful thinking than reality.
10) X is the New Somerville
9) Foreign buyers will buoy/save/boost the market
This pseudo trend is nothing but the result of Manhattan-envy. In Gotham, foreign buyers really do buoy the market. In Boston, locals (or at least Americans) buy up the majority of luxury towers—including the really expensive units.
8) Eight-figure condo deals are becoming some kind of new normal
Sorry. Deals of $10,000,000 or more are still very few and very far between in the Boston region. Heck, mansions asking that much can’t get it.
7) Transit-oriented development is driving much of Boston real estate
We wish. Alas, dated regulations and the region’s notoriously strong bond with the automobile mean one development after another with near-oceans of parking—even if they’re near T stops. The few exceptions prove the rule.
6) We’ll see the Green Line extension sooner rather than later... and then look out!
Actually, the 4.7-mile extension through Somerville into Medford is interminably delayed. It has not quite slid into Second Avenue Subway Land, but its stations are now not slated to open until at least 2021; and who knows what might happen between now and then? So let’s cool it re: the extension’s possible effects.
5) Workforce housing is a thing that will help solve Boston’s housing crunch
There’s an old saying in journalism that three times makes a trend. We’re not there yet.
4) The Seaport District is becoming a 24/7 neighborhood
3) Downtown Crossing is becoming a 24/7 neighborhood
We’re probably guiltier than most in pushing this meme. Even with mammoth openings such as Millennium Tower last year, the neighborhood still feels like it shuts down after about 6 p.m. every weekday.
2) New development will drive sales prices downward
Some iteration of this canard has been dusted off and carted out year after year. The simple fact is that the region would need much, much more for-sale housing than is being built for prices to come down significantly across-the-board. Think about that: It’s an historic building boom, but it’s still not enough.
1) Rents are falling
Please. In the long run, maybe—but, on the ground and in real life, not much has changed for tenants and prospective tenants. And it probably won’t anytime soon, especially since the pace of apartment-building is slowing and there are plenty of people here willing and able to pay $3,000 a month for a studio.
Are we missing any trends that need to die in 2017? Let us know.
- Somerville's 10 most expensive home sales in 2016, mapped [Curbed Boston]
- Somerville’s Assembly Row could get nearly 2M more square feet [Curbed Boston]
- One Dalton Developer Expects Most Buyers Will Be Local [Curbed Boston]
- $37.5M Millennium Tower Penthouse Buyer Won't Live There Full-Time [Curbed Boston]
- Cambridge Mansion Asking $10.5M Is an Architectural Potpourri [Curbed Boston]
- Savin Hill Condos Across From T Nixed Over Lack of Parking [Curbed Boston]
- Downtown Boston’s 171 Tremont Street moves forward [Curbed Boston]
- Green Line extension delayed until at least 2021 [Curbed Boston]
- The pessimist’s guide to Greater Boston real estate in 2017 [Curbed Boston]
- Seaport Edges Back Bay as Boston's Priciest Condo Market [Curbed Boston]
- General Electric to keep Necco Court bridge in Fort Point [Curbed Boston]
- South Boston workforce housing development pitched for Dot Ave [Curbed Boston]
- The Tower That Hopes to Remake Downtown Crossing [Curbed Boston]
- Millennium Tower: the Ultimate Timeline for Boston's Tallest Residential Building [Curbed Boston]
- 7 huge Greater Boston projects set to break ground in 2017 [Curbed Boston]
- Boston-area apartment rents down from 2016 [Curbed Boston]
- Boston’s residential construction boom: It would be very bad news if it’s peaked [Curbed Boston]
- Even the Good News About Boston's Rental Market Is Upsetting [Curbed Boston]