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Downtown Boston’s luxury condo market sees steep price jumps

Average sales price up nearly 23 percent year over year in the spring

Glassy condo buildings on the waterfront. Shutterstock

If one needed further proof that downtown Boston was ascending—or already had ascended—to the rarefied pricing heights of Manhattan and San Francisco ($4,180 a square foot?!), then one should look no further than the latest quarterly market report from appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman.

It tracked closed deals in the luxury condo market during the three months ended July 1, a market it defined as involving deals of at least $2.5 million each. (That threshold itself was up 10.6 precent annually and 35.1 percent quarterly.)

The report defined downtown as Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Fenway, Midtown, the North End, the Seaport, South Boston, the South End, and the West End.

The average sales price for such deals was $4,395,698, up 22.8 percent annually and 22 percent quarterly. The average price per square foot was $1,965, up 18.3 percent annually and 22.8 percent quarterly. And the median sales price was $3,510,300, up 21 percent annually and 33.7 percent quarterly. Sense a theme yet?

What sparked the bounces in the luxury market was similar to what largely sparked similar price jumps in the overall downtown Boston condo market (besides the constant demand and the asking prices themselves): a decline in sales—in the case of the luxury market, the number of sales was down 14.9 percent annually, to 97.

Overall downtown Boston condo sales dropped nearly 16 percent as the median sales price rose 6.7 percent, to $910,000, and the average condo price increased 13.1 percent, to $1,336,307. Meanwhile, the average downtown Boston condo price per square foot hit a record for the last 19 years of $1,139.