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Downtown Boston luxury condo market pulls further away from the rest of the area

Downtown condo prices in general were up in the third quarter—but they were way up at the top of the market

Glassy condo buildings on the waterfront. Shutterstock

Luxury condo prices in downtown Boston rose sharply over the summer compared with the overall market in the area, continuing a trend from earlier this year, according to a recent third-quarter report from brokerage Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel.

The report defined the luxury market as the top 10 percent of sales. The report covered closed condo deals in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charleston, Fenway, Midtown, the North End, the Seaport District, South Boston, the South End, and the West End.

The average luxury condo price for the three months ended September 30 was $4,551,782, a 36.3 percent increase from the same period in 2018. That also represented a much steeper jump than the 21.2 percent average price rise for downtown’s entire condo market.

What’s more, the median luxury sales price was up 55.1 percent, to $4.25 million, versus 5 percent for the downtown condo market overall, and the average price per square foot was up 27.8 percent, to $1,970, versus 14.4 percent overall.

Perhaps as a result, though, the number of luxury condo sales dropped markedly downtown, falling more than 12 percent from both the quarter before and the same quarter in 2018, to 85 total. That mirrors what happened to the downtown condo market in general, where sales dropped quarterly and annually by double-digit percentages.

Incidentally, wondering what the threshold was as of September 30 for buying into the “luxury” condo market in downtown Boson? The Miller Samuel report pegged it at $2.65 million, up 37.7 percent from the year before.