Bilus on Boston, January 2018: January Edition
I hope you are settling into the New Year well! Boston’s real estate market remained very active during the holiday season, though I took a little time to reflect and re-charge. I am incredibly optimistic about what 2018 will bring to real estate sellers and buyers in Boston and surrounding areas.
One of the neighborhoods I will be keeping my eye on in the new year is Fenway. Over the past few years, the area has undergone a remarkable transformation. This issue of Bilus of Boston focuses on the Fenway neighborhood, past and future construction, and my Collection of available homes in the neighborhood. 2018 will definitely be a huge year for Fenway!
But before I continue, let’s reminisce on the past year…
2017 was marked by several personal and Compass accomplishments:
So what are some things in store for 2018?
I’m looking forward to another eventful, exciting year in Boston’s real estate market and to helping you make the best-informed real estate decisions for your unique lifestyle.
Once only home to and destination for the Boston Red Sox, Fenway is now a full-fledged residential neighborhood, with a range of living options, from brownstones to full service luxury rentals to a soon-to-be-completed luxury high rise condo building. Restaurants, bars, cafes, neighborhood services and a supermarket line the streets there. Cultural venues, hospitals, Back Bay and other Boston neighborhoods are walkable, making The Fenway neighborhood an increasingly desirable place to call home.
In 2017, we said goodbye to the construction of Pierce Boston, the first upscale condos to be built in the vibrant Fenway neighborhood after hundreds of apartments.
This slender, modern 30-story glass and metal tower, with its soaring panoramic views, is an architectural standout. The 109 luxury condos for sale (there are 240 rental units) are located on the 19th to 29th floors and encompass a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units plus den, including ten penthouses on each of the top two residential floors. Homes are priced from $850,000 to $5 million.
Pierce Boston is just steps away from trendy restaurants, CityTarget, home furnishing and décor options, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Symphony, the New England Conservatory, the House of Blues as well as beloved Fenway Park.
The Fenway Center
In 2018, we say hello to the construction of The Fenway Center, a transit and sustainable energy-oriented development.
Developers plan to officially break ground on The Fenway Center on January 30th, 2018. When completed, The Fenway Center will be five-buildings and 1.3 million square feet with around 550 housing units, 160,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space, 30,000 square feet of parks, 1,290 parking spaces, community space, a daycare center, bicycle storage, and a bike-share station.
Located where Brookline and Commonwealth Avenues meet in Boston’s Kenmore Square area, The Fenway Center mixed-use development has been designed to connect the existing Fenway, Kenmore, and Longwood Medical Area neighborhoods.
Does the Fenway neighborhood catch your eye? Could you see yourself living here? I’ve curated a Compass Collection highlighting a range of active condominiums for sale in the Fenway neighborhood with an asking price of over $600K. Click here to explore!
Bilus on Boston, November 2017: November Edition
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Fall is in full swing and before we know it, we will be welcoming the New Year. I’m continually asked how the Boston real estate market is doing and about new residential projects throughout the city. With 2018 around the corner, it seems fitting to take a look at the Q3 2017 and give a glimpse of what’s on the horizon.
This issue focuses on South Boston, Seaport and Downtown Boston and includes a market snapshot, my Collection of available homes in these neighborhoods and a new development project either underway or in the planning stages in each of these neighborhoods.
If you’re wondering about the state of Boston real estate and considering your next move whether in 2018 or beyond, it’s never too soon to get the conversation started. Contact me at any time as your resource for all things real estate related.
In South Boston, the condo inventory increased significantly (29.3%) year-over-year. Median asking price jumped 23.3% to $800K. While the actual number of sales increased just slightly (3.3%), the median sale price of $685K was up 5.4% and the median price per square foot was up 4.4% year-over-year. Gains year-over-year were the most dramatic in the $700K to $900K price range, where the actual number of sales was up 47%. New construction and higher prices in other neighborhoods is a major contributor to driving up prices here.
14 West Broadway
14 West Broadway is one of Boston’s hottest and newest premier luxury residences. The 10-story full-service, luxury condominium building will house 49 residences, including one to four bedroom units, ranging from 831 square feet to 1,619 square feet. 14 West Broadway offers exclusive and endless amenities for its residents, creating the perfect mix of convenience and modern design. A key advantage of 14 West is it connects three of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods: South End, South Boston, and Seaport.
Developers have been building higher price-point products in Seaport District as condo inventory exhibited a notable 102.2% year-over-year increase in median asking price to $1.44M this quarter. The number of sales decreased significantly by 72.7% year-over-year, but that was attributable to prior year in which there were 37 closings from 319 A Street. Median sale price increased 60.3% to $1.09M, led by closings at higher-end projects such as 22 Liberty. 50 Liberty and Pier 4 are new high priced luxury residences in the Seaport, which will undoubtedly impact sales trends in the Seaport in 2018.
Close to the city, surrounded by the harbor, PIER 4 lies at the heart of the new Seaport—a skipping stone from Downtown Boston. The boutique residences at PIER 4 offer what you’ve come to expect from luxury living. This art deco building will house 100+ ultra luxury residential units with private outdoor spaces and top of the line finishes. It’s the only Seaport residence surrounded by water on three sides. Completion is expected Fall 2018.
The Downtown Boston* condo market slowed down this quarter compared to a year ago, attributable to less inflation from the Millennium Tower. There were 160 condos on market in 3Q17, up 32.2% year-over-year. However, median asking price decreased 18.9%. The actual number of sales decreased 40.2% year-over-year mainly due to strong 3Q16 closings at Millennium Tower (53 units vs. 12 units this quarter). Median sale price decreased 27.2% year-over-year to $1.20M, though up 6.1% from $1.13M in the previous quarter. Though it will not impact sales in the next year, the South Station Air Rights Project is one to watch!
*Downtown Boston includes Chinatown, Downtown Boston, Financial District, Leather District, and Midtown.
The South Station Air Rights Project
The South Station Air Rights project will bring three new buildings to Downtown Boston. The project will be completed in three phases. Phase One will house 175 residential condominiums and Phase Two will house 260 residential condominiums or 375 residential rental units along with hotel space. Besides residential space, construction for office and retail space will be taking place as well. In total, The South Station Air Rights project will bring three new buildings and 1,981,000 square feet to the Financial District. The project is expected to start at the end of this year.
So what can you buy in these neighborhoods? I’ve curated a Compass Collection highlighting a range of active condominiums for sale in South Boston, Seaport and Downtown Boston with at least two bedrooms and an asking price of over $600K. Click on the picture to the left to explore!
What Clients Say About Frann Bilus, September 2017:
Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in life. Each client and circumstance is unique requiring a different approach but my goal is the same: to build a relationship that will last well beyond the transaction itself. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, relocating from out of state, buying an investment property, selling to trade up to larger space and/or a new neighborhood or an empty nester moving from the suburbs to the adventures of a more urban lifestyle, guiding you through the emotional and financial facets of a real estate decision and helping you achieve your goals is what I love most about my work.
Choosing your real estate partner, whether to sell or to buy a home, is a critical part of the process and can be determinative of your outcome. Testimonials and recommendations are key in the real estate business. Some clients were asked to share their thoughts on my work ethic and how I run my business. Below are some of the keywords they used:
I invite you to take a few minutes to watch my video.
For more client testimonials, please click here.
To my clients and General Manager at Compass for taking time out of your very busy schedules to share your experience and to TR Productions for your guidance and patience in bringing this video to fruition, THANK YOU!
And to all, thank you in advance for watching my video, for working with me, for referring your family, friends and colleagues and for considering me as your real estate advisor and partner. If you are thinking about making a change, let’s get the conversation started.
Bilus on Boston, August 2017: Summer Edition
Welcome to Bilus on Boston, August Edition!
Depending on who you ask, Labor Day has many different definitions. For some, it means great holiday sales and retiring white clothing until next year. For others, it represents the unofficial end of summer and the start of back to school season. For most, it is a day off from work. But when the first Monday of September rolls around, what does the holiday actually stand for and what are we even celebrating?
Labor Day pays tribute to the hard work, contributions, and achievements of American workers. The holiday traces back to 1882. In the late 1800s, in order to make ends meet, the average American worked 12 hour days and seven days a week. To recognize and celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers, the idea of a “workingman’s holiday” and “a day of the people” caught on in many industrial centers of the country. This practice of holding annual festivities on the first Monday of September continued to spread across the country for about a decade. In 1896, it was finally deemed an official holiday.
Have you thought about your plans for the three-day weekend yet? If you’re staying in the city, there are special events unfolding throughout the long weekend. Boston will be fireworks, concerts, and games galore! Labor Day festivities kick off on Thursday, August 31st and run through September 4th.
Enjoy the holiday weekend and take a minute on Labor Day to express appreciation to those who work for you.
For Sale: Off-Market Listing
Parris Landing, Charlestown
Living is easy at Parris Landing located in Charlestown’s historic Navy Yard. With concierge, fitness, club room, seasonal pool, an uncovered valet parking space, and access to Harbor Walk, it’s a great community to call home.
1 bedroom, 1 bath, 681 square feet
Marlborough Street Penthouse
Located on tranquil, tree-lined Marlborough Street, this spectacular floor through penthouse has it all! Highly coveted features include a rooftop private deck, extra storage and full direct access parking.
2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,461 square feet
This rare 5 bedroom, 3 full and 1 half bathroom penthouse with an exceptional harbor view on Boston’s Waterfront can be yours. Two units have been combined into one resulting in a spacious 2,708 square foot duplex.
5 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,708 square feet
Sold Over Ask-$1,208/SF
252 Marlborough Street, Unit B
Located on a coveted block in the heart of Back Bay, this parlor and garden residence provided the buyers serenity and tranquility with prime access to all the city has to offer.
2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 890 square feet
Average Sales Price: +15.3%
Average Price Per Square Foot: +3.0%
Number of Sales: -4.6%
Despite a decrease in condo sales year over year (-4.6%) attributable to relatively low inventory, the average price per square foot sold increased 3.0% with 21.9% sold over $1,000 per square foot, coming from Lewis Wharf, The Mariner, Intercontinental, Burroughs Wharf, Union Wharf and Battery Wharf, which yielded the highest price per square foot ($2,010). The double digit gains in the average sales price year over year reflect a higher percentage of sales over $2 Million (14.6% versus 9.3%).
About the Neighborhood
Boston’s Waterfront neighborhood proffers some of the area’s most desired condominium properties. Some of these homes afford sweeping views of the skyline and water along with endless amenities. To learn more about the Waterfront, click here.
Average Sales Price: +18.7%
Average Price Per Square Foot: +3.0% Number of Sales: -2.3%
Although the number of condo sales was down 2.3% year over year due to an inventory shortage, the average price per square foot sold increased 3.0% to $1,184 with 12.6% of sales over $1,500 per square foot and 5.5% of sales over $2,000 per square foot. The highest yields are coming from a mix of brownstones and luxury full service buildings such as The Clarendon, Four Seasons, The Mandarin and Carlton House which sold at $2,847 per square foot, likely attributable to its A+ location.
About the Neighborhood
The cluster of restaurants, shops and cultural institutions centered in the Back Bay speak to its prime position within the city. Yet the area maintains a residential feel, with apartments perched amid Newbury Street boutiques.To learn more about Back Bay, click here.
Average Sales Price: +7.7%
Average Price Per Square Foot: +4.9% Number of Sales: -5.4%
While sales volume is down (-5.4%) year over year due to relatively low inventory, Charlestown prices have increased as it offers more affordable options than some other neighborhoods in the city. The average sale price and price per square foot are on the upswing with 37.5% of sales over $700 per square foot (versus 31.2% year ago) and 15.9% of sales over $800 per square foot (versus 3.2% year ago). The highest yields are coming from condos in the gaslight area as well as The Amory, new construction that included a private deck and two garage parking spaces.
About the Neighborhood
As Boston’s oldest neighborhood, a sense of colonial charm permeates the streets of Charlestown. Similar to many of the charming small towns that dot the New England landscape, Charlestown has a classic main street and town square, and its residents enjoy a true sense of community. To learn more about Charlestown, click here.
I invite you to explore my Compass Collection highlighting a sample of active condominiums for sale with at least 2 bedrooms and parking, in the $1 Million to $3 Million range. Click here to explore!
Bilus on Boston, June 2017: The Boston Harbor Edition
Welcome to Bilus on Boston, June Edition!
With summer on the horizon, it seems fitting to take a look at what’s happening around the Boston Harbor. In this issue, you’ll find Featured Listings, a snapshot of the harbor-oriented condo market, a spotlight on the Seaport District, one of Boston’s hottest and most rapidly changing neighborhoods, and my Outdoor Space Collection, featuring homes on the market that offer some form of outdoor space as an extension of one’s living space.
Wondering about the state of real estate? Considering your next move and how to get started? It all starts with a conversation. Contact me at any time as your resource for all things real estate related.
Best wishes for a fun-filled, productive and safe summer!
All My Best,
For Sale: Off-Market Listing
42 8th Street, # 5303 (Building 5), Charlestown, MA 02129
1 bedroom, 1 bath, 681 square feet
Sold Over Ask
252 Marlborough Street, Unit B, Boston, MA 02116
Two bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 890 square feet
$1,075,000 – $75K over asking price in three days!
Boston Harbor Market Insights
Average Sales Price: Flat
Average PSF: +8.1%
Number of Sales: -17.6%
While the average price per square foot sold was $990, 35% of sales were $1,000 to $2,000 per square foot, coming from Intercontinental, Battery Wharf, Burroughs Wharf, Union Wharf and Harbor Towers.
Average Sale Price: +9.3%
Average PSF: <1.0%
Number of Sales: +90.0%
Although sales were up almost 100%, the average sales price increased 9.3% with a higher percentage of sales over $900 per square foot (32%) versus the same period year ago (29%).
Average Sale Price: +9.5%
Average PSF: +6.5%
Number of Sales: +4.9%
Charlestown offers more affordable options driving more sales and more competition. More units sold at $700+ per square foot (35%) than the same period year ago (26%) and more sold at $800+ per square square foot (10%) than the same period year ago (5%), with Flagship Wharf, Monument Square, among others as contributors.
Average Sale Price: +16.8%
Average PSF: +15.8%
Number of Sales: +87.9%
While the average price per square foot is lower than other harbor markets, it’s much more affordable than other parts of the city, attracting buyers, which in turn, is driving double growth.
Average Sale Price: < 1%
Average PSF: +10.2%
Number of Sales: -5.8%
Although the number of sales is down and the average sale price is flat, price per square foot is up, with significantly more sales at $700+ per square foot (35.0% versus 10.3%) and at $800+ per square foot (8.9% versus 1.6%) than the same period year ago. Plain and simple, South Boston is a more affordable city option, which is driving the price per square foot up.
Average Sale Price: -61.9%
Average PSF: -38.0%
Number of Sales: -27.9%
Why the significant declines? In the comparable 2016 period, the average price per square foot was $1,245 driven by 22 Liberty, an ultra-luxury condo building, which represented 44% of sales with price per square foot $1,100 to $2,714.
Source: LINK Boston (YTD 2017)
Enjoy Boston’s newest waterfront destination, the Seaport district, with a plethora of activities and events this season!
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta
Seaport, Waterfront, South Boston
June 17-22, 2017
Tall ships from Europe, South America and the U.S. are sailing into the city as part of the 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a trans-Atlantic race spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda and locations, with Boston being the only U.S. port on the route. An estimated 56 ships will parade past Castle Island and the historic fort as they make their way up the main harbor channel, with the Grand Parade of Sail starting at 9AM. Click here for more information.
Returning this summer is the popular outdoor fitness series, Seaport Sweat, hosted outdoors in Seaport Common throughout the summer. Featuring Boston’s top fitness instructors, the program attracts fitness aficionados from all over the city to work out on the Common and Fan Pier area, while overlooking Boston’s harbor. Click here to sign up.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
25 Fan Pier Boulevard
A popular high-end steakhouse with locations all around the country opens a new one in the Seaport District this week. The diverse menu boasts seafood towers, sushi, and their infamous steaks. Executive chef Todd Kozaka will be at the helm with his prior experience including Legal Sea Foods and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Click here to learn more.
I invite you to explore my Compass Collection highlighting a sample of active listings in Boston with outdoor spaces to enjoy, from roof decks with city views to private balconies and hidden garden patios. Click here to explore!
Bilus On Boston, November 2016: South End Living, Your Way
Known for its striking brownstones, great restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, open markets, green spaces (11 residential parks) and diversity, there is no denying the South End is one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in Boston. Despite the allure of new, super-luxury high-rises being built elsewhere in the city, the South End’s condo market is stronger than ever, and it keeps getting hotter, with brownstones, boutiques as well as full service luxury condo buildings attracting top dollar.
South End By The Numbers
To get a sense of the temperature here, let’s take a look at some statistics. The median sale price in the third quarter was $774,000, up slightly [+.5%] from the third quarter of 2015, but up 46% since the same period 2012.
Another indicator of the strength of the South End’s condo market is price per square foot, and this metric surged over the past five years. The neighborhood’s median price per square foot reached a high of $931 in the third quarter of 2016, up from $860 versus the prior year.South End Luxury Real EstateThere’s been significant growth in the South End’s luxury market as well. In the past 12 months, 183 condos here sold at or above $1,000 per square foot—an indicator of luxury sales—83% more than the amount during the same period in 2015 when only 100 condos sold at this price point. Despite the opening of Sepia at Ink Block late last year, most of the sales in the $1000-plus-per-square-foot range were predominantly brownstones. This is evidence that South End condos don’t necessarily need premium views or amenities to command top dollar.The South End offers a range lifestyle options, from Federal style and bow-front brick row houses, to boutique residences, including several church conversions, and a few modern luxury mid-rises, complete with full-service amenities. So whatever your preference, you can have the city lifestyle in the South End, your way!
Compass Quarterly, Fall 2016: The Gathering Issue
As the days grow shorter and temperatures cool across the country, our homes serve as beacons. They await us after a day’s work, beckon out-of-town friends to convene within their walls and form the backdrop for the year’s liveliest occasions. I invite you to be transported, from a Brooklyn potluck to a Miami pool party, from a bucolic Colorado dancehall to a bountiful herb farm near Boston as we celebrate our homes — the places and spaces where we come together to revel, rest, and reconnect. Download the Issue.
Compass Quarterly, Summer 2016: The Luxury Issue
With this edition, we draft our own definition of luxury — poised at the intersection of sophisticated design, seamless technology, and the unparalleled knowledge of our agents. These are the characteristics imbued in the homes my Compass colleagues and I represent and the communities we serve. Download the Issue.
This tribute to healthful living explores how we define wellness today. From Compass’s marathon-running CEO to my energetic colleagues, these personal pursuits ensure that we fully engage with the communities we serve—and with one another. Explore the Issue.