Stay ahead of the market! Here is the latest on where things are hot in Boston real estate, who and what you need to know, and how to navigate the market to get the most out of it for your needs:
There has been talk over the last two years of the market being “too good to be true” and coming into a “bubble” that most certainly will burst. Well it is clear that time is not anytime soon for the metro Boston real estate market!!
With interest rates historically low, sometimes under 4%, and demand extremely high with so little inventory, the market is clearly still red hot. The Boston real estate condo market saw 3600 condo sales in 2013, but then only 3100 in 2014, due to decreasing inventory.
In 2015, home prices in the Boston area rose 4.7 percent from the prior year, below the national average of 5.3 percent growth. In December, however, the area saw an 11.3 percent gain in closed sales compared to December of 2014, according to a report released from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors in January.
The median sales price for a single family home in the greater Boston area also reached $465,000 in December, up 4.7 percent year-over-year, and $445,000 for condos, up 5.2 percent, the report also stated.
GBAR attributes the increase in sales and home values to a stronger job market than the past few years, lower mortgage rates and gains in household formation.
In the past, it was common for twenty and thirty-somethings to get married, move out of the city and into the suburbs. However, this trend is not the norm anymore. We have transformed into city dwellers due to convenience, public transportation, and lower commute times. We love to be able to walk out of our door in the evening to the local bar or cozy restaurant with little effort.
As a result of this change, developers have begun to expand the full-service concierge-style condo buildings into areas further from the city, in order to entice buyers to stay in the suburbs. Towns that are along the commuter rail, such as Milton, Canton, Arlington and Needham are also seeing price point gains, according to David McCarthy, president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors. He says “People want towns or buildings with a sense of community”, when choosing their Boston real estate.
Just recently, at the February board meeting, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved eight new projects totaling $586.1 million in development costs and 1.1 million square feet of construction. The eight projects will include 703 residential units, 730 student beds and 52,000 square feet of commercial office space.
Another reason the Boston real estate market is “booming” (pun intended): Baby Boomers. This age group is tired of cutting grass and commuting and are therefore headed into the city to downsize for the sake of convenience and cosmopolitan leisure. They are not lowering their price tags however. Many boomers are buying condos or lofts equally as expensive or costlier than their suburban homes.
According to a list provided by Redfin of the nation’s most competitive zip codes, five were in the metro Boston area: Allston-Brighton, the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Jamaica Plain, and the South End.
Boston’s highest-end developers have begun a competition to out-do one another by increasing the amount of amenity-loaded luxury condo buildings. A few examples are 45 Province, in Downtown Crossing, which houses a restaurant and spa, and Millennium Tower, which has its very own Roche Bros. grocery store! If you’re tired of navigating your car through the traffic in the city, Lovejoy Wharf, near North Station, will be the first luxury condo building without on-site parking, proving our true desire for urban living.
Development is on the rise for the spring in our beautiful city. This is evident if you are trying to navigate through Fenway on your way home after going to Target and get caught in construction traffic…
Also this thriving economy is bringing new businesses to our area. Clover Food Lab, a local food truck & restaurant chain, recently opened a new location in Downtown Crossing on February 3.
Good news for sellers: With inventory still low, buyers are fighting over properties, even paying sometimes several thousand dollars over asking price just to secure their chosen new home. This means if you’re looking to sell, this is an optimum time for you to get top dollar for your home in a fairly short time frame.