Price Comparison: The Boston Waterfront Versus the Seaport District

As two of Boston’s most expensive places to purchase a home, it is only natural to want to compare the prices between the Boston Waterfront and the Seaport District. While you certainly are not going to get off cheaply within either of these markets, understanding how they compare and getting a general idea of why these areas have such relatively high prices can be beneficial when it comes to making a purchasing decision.

Comparing Prices

According to an analysis recently completed by real estate research site NeighborhoodX, which took a deep look at the listings within both the Boston Waterfront and Seaport District, the average asking price of market-rate listings within the Seaport District was $1,498 per square foot. This is significantly higher than the market rate for properties located along the city’s North End Waterfront, where the average asking price was $996 per square foot.

Factors Affecting Pricing

Researchers found that there are a number of factors contributing to the high prices of property in the Boston Waterfront and the Seaport District. For example, both of these neighborhoods are located in an area that is adjacent to historic neighborhoods. As such, the higher prices can be at least partially attributed to the fundamentally different product type that results from zoning. The higher prices can also be attributed to the homogeneity of the product type in these neighborhoods, which consists primarily of luxury condominiums.

The homogeneity is also one of the reasons why the Seaport has a higher average price than Beacon Hill or Back Bay, both of which have been developed over a longer period of time but offer a greater range of housing types. Beacon Hill has an average housing price of $1,413 per square feet while the Back Bay has an average housing price of $1,472 per square foot.

The effects of homogeneity on housing prices can also be used to better understand why some of the more affordable units in the Seaport District are actually clustered in Fort Point, as this part of the district consists of a different product type. Most of the properties in this area are conversions of historic buildings rather than being new developments, such as the popular 50 Liberty and Twenty Two Liberty.

Featuring 111 units, Twenty Two Liberty saw all of its units sold without the help of brokers, with the most expensive being Penthouse 1A that sold at a cost of $2,486 per square foot. Penthouse 1C sold for $1,754 per square foot while Unit 11A sold for 1,867 per square foot. Meanwhile, the 14-story, 120-unit luxury condo development at 50 Liberty Drive features units asking $2,000 per square foot.

Once a barren waterfront consisting primarily of parking lots and just a few businesses and restaurants, the Seaport District is now one of the hottest sections of the city. With its beautiful Harborwalk, numerous restaurants, opportunities for enjoying live entertainment and more, it is easy to see why it has quickly become one of the most expensive places in the city to purchase a home.

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