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Everything’s getting more expensive in downtown Boston’s luxury condo market

What else is new? The sector continues to easily outpace the rest of a market that appears to be cooling

Looking up at a very tall, glassy skyscraper. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Downtown Boston’s luxury condo market remains much, much different at the start of 2020 than the rest of the city’s condo market. And, given the sales figures at newer condo developments, some of which are set to open this year, it should stay that way.

First, the stats. A recent report from appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman that tracked closed deals in several downtown Boston neighborhoods in the fourth quarter of 2019 calculated the average sales price for luxury condos as $6,095,836. The median sales price was $5,250,000.

The report defined the luxury condo market as those deals among the 10 percent most expensive in the fourth quarter. The threshold, then, was $2,975,000.

It’s a pretty exclusive club, to say the least. The average sales price for all downtown Boston condos was $1,546,011, and the median was $952,500.

What’s more, the luxury figures were all up significantly from the same period in 2019. In the case of the median price—probably the best pricing measure, given that one or two titanic deals can skew the averages—the figure was up 87.5 percent year over year.

And it appears that the increases did not affect sales. The number of luxury condo trades was up 21.4 percent annually, to 68.

So it looks like the luxury end of the city’s residential real estate market—which all of those hundreds of shiny, sleek condos going up in neighborhoods such as the Seaport District, Back Bay, and Fenway embody—is immune to whatever correction is underway in the middle and lower ends.

Further proof is in the early figures for condo developments set to come online this year and in 2021 and 2022. The Collaborative Companies, a real estate consultancy, compiled pre-sales figures for 10 such luxury condo projects, including the Sudbury at Bulfinch Crossing, the Quinn in the South End, and the Archer in Beacon Hill.

The estimated closing prices in these 10 buildings, which include 983 units, range from $925 a square foot to $3,564 a foot. Compare that to the average closing price for downtown Boston luxury condos in the fourth quarter of 2018: $2,358. Look for that to rise.