Four Seasons two bedroom overlooking the Boston Public Garden!
Priced to sell at $2,575,000 or $1,798 per SF; $621 below the average sale price per SF of the last five front facing residence at the Four Seasons at 220 Boylston Street. At 1,432 SF with two bedrooms, two baths, garage parking and views into the Public Garden, that leaves plenty of room to put your signature on this luxury condominium property and still be "in the market".
A scaled-back proposal to build a primarily residential tower over the Massachusetts Turnpike next to the Hynes Convention Center won a key approval from the Boston Planning & Development Agency on March 15.
Developer Weiner Ventures had originally proposed building two buildings where Massachusetts Avenue meets Boylston Street: One 566 feet and 39 stories, the other 283 feet and 24 stories.
The newly passed proposal includes plans for just one of those towers—and it would now reach to 484 feet and 27 floors. It would include 108 condos atop two floors of retail and restaurant space as well as two levels of parking.
Professional stagers are paid to bring out the best in your home. Don't take it personally.
Your home might be beautiful. Maybe it is immaculate, stylishly appointed to suit your tastes or highly upgraded with the finest materials and features. Perhaps it is all of these things. But, unless you are one in a thousand, it is not “staged.”
Staging a home for sale is not a new concept, but it is a practice that has gained steam with our more challenging market. I see many home sellers confuse staging with decorating and consequently resisting the process and the recommendations of the staging professional. But the reality is that the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home. This means that you need to be prepared to emotionally detach.
Let your home speak to buyers.
Your home speaks to you, but what is it saying to your potential buyer? Most sellers we encounter tend to take the staging process personally, and this is precisely the point. Our homes are personal, yet how we live is not how we sell. Our homes represent who we are; they are life-sized memory books of our travels, they trumpet our likes, our dislikes and our beliefs. They showcase our stuff -- all that stuff we have accumulated over time that speaks to us. The goal of staging is to make the home speak to everyone else, in a compelling and positive way.
You are proud of your Hummel collection. Each piece acquired over time has a special meaning, but to your buyer, it is a collection of your things which serves only to draw his attention away from the main event. Likewise the personal photos, the too-tall centerpiece, the overstuffed china cabinet and the bookcase filled with National Geographic magazines dating back to the Paleozoic Era -- these are all treasures to be sure, but they serve only to sidetrack a buyer from the task at hand.
Buyers tend to label the homes they see, as do agents. So, you can either be the “house with the beautiful arched doorways” or the “house with the Elvis throw rug and a bunch of office furniture where the dining room should be.” Both evoke emotional reactions, but unless the buyer is one who spends his annual vacations at Graceland, you will be far better served by eliminating distractions.
Clutter may suggest your home doesn’t measure up.
Most of us, if honest, will admit that our daily lives involve a certain amount of clutter. The little stack of mail and car keys and loose change next to the telephone, the “junk drawer” which has been busy propagating the species while no one was looking, and a bathroom with enough toiletries on display to groom the entire population of Northern Ireland are all examples. OK, I’m talking about my home here, but we all have our own flavors of clutter.
True, clutter is just another perpetrator of distraction. More importantly, though, your clutter may be sending a message that you don’t have enough space. My own kitchen counter top is at this moment permanent home to a toaster, a toaster oven, a coffee pot, a butcher block of knives, a canister of utensils and a bowl of random items of fruit origin, the latter living out their golden years in a decorative bowl. This arrangement (except for the brown bananas) is functional, but to another person it might suggest I lack the cabinet space to properly store these everyday items. And, if I'm hoping that this other person will buy my home, I need to clean up my act.
Don’t shoot the stager.
The primary goal of staging is not to transform your home into the eighth wonder of the world. For most of us, this simply isn’t realistic. Rather, the best stagers will work with what you have, rearranging and reallocating all of your belongings, in order to present the property in its best light. Sometimes this means reallocating some of those belongings to the garage.
Too often the tendency is take the process personally, but you shouldn’t. Staging is not a do-it-yourself sport, and only a third party specialist can bring the neutrality and objectivity needed to accomplish the goal. You may interpret the message that your favorite painting would look much better above the fireplace -- in your neighbor’s house -- as an indictment on your style and tastes. OK, maybe it is, but most likely it is not. Rather, it is probably the stager’s attempt to ensure that your appointments don’t upstage the home itself. That’s his/her job.
Make no mistake -- professional staging is an inconvenience. Your daily routine will be turned, at least temporarily, on its head. And it can be unsettling as you watch your life rearranged to suit the tastes of others. But if selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, it is precisely those "others” who should be your focus.
Millennials are picking up the pace of moving into homeownership, but the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says not all are finding a way. Its 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that inventory constraints and higher housing costs have prevented some from leaving the more affordable confines of their parents' homes.
The study evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers and found that slightly more than a third of home purchases over the last year, 36 percent, were made by Millennials, an increase from 34 percent in 2017, making them the most active generation of buyers for the fifth year. Gen X buyers accounted for 26 percent of sales, baby boomers for 32 percent, and the silent generation, those born between 1925 and 1945, 6 percent.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the survey findings reveal show what it takes for Millennials to be a successful buyer and why, even as sales to that age group reached an all-time survey high, slim inventories and other conditions are working against many. Yun said the overall share of those buyers remains at an underperforming level.
The typical Millennial needed a household income of $88,200 compared to $82,000 last year to purchase the same sized 1,800 square foot home which increased in price from $205,000 to $220,000. They were also carrying more student debt than revealed in last year's survey and slightly more of them said saving for a down payment was the most difficult part of buying a home.
"Realtors® throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year, as well as mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy," said Yun. "Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth and the need to save more in order to buy."
Added Yun, "These challenging market conditions have caused - and will continue to cause - many aspiring millennial buyers to continue renting unless more Gen Xers decide to sell, and entry-level home construction picks up significantly."
Among other generational findings of the survey was that, as in previous years, younger boomers were the most likely, at 20 percent, to purchase a multi-generational home with an increase from 30 to 39 percent who said they did so to provide a place for their adult children to live. Providing a place for their parents was a reason given by 22 percent. This also applied to Gen X buyers, with those purchasing for multi-generational purposes rising from 12 percent in 2017 to 15 percent and many of those (35 percent) saying adult children were the reason, slightly more than those doing so because of their parents.
"Costly rents and growing student debt balances appear to make living at home more appealing, affordable and increasingly more common among young adults just entering the workforce," said Yun. "Even in situations where three generations are all cramped under the same roof, it can significantly help some millennials eventually transition straight to homeownership. Eighteen percent of millennial buyers in the survey said their family home was their previous living arrangement."
Regardless of the age group, the quality of the neighborhood was the most important factor in deciding where to live, followed closing by proximity to employment. Recent Millennial buyers were also as likely as other age groups to put a priority on living close to friends and family.
The share of millennial buyers with at least one child continues to grow, at 52 percent in this year's survey and up from 49 percent a year ago and 43 percent in 2015. With the need for a larger house at an affordable price, 52 percent of millennials bought in a suburban location while also being more likely than Gen Xers and younger boomers to choose a home in a small town. After climbing as high as 21 percent in 2015, only 15 percent of recent millennial buyers purchased a home in an urban area.
Eighty-six percent of Gen Xers and 85 percent of Millennials purchased a single-family home, while boomers of all ages were most likely to buy a multi-family home. Only 2 percent of millennials bought a condo.
"While there is an overall trend among households young and old to migrate towards urban areas, the very low production of new condos means there are few affordable options for buyers - especially millennials," Yun said.
The survey also found that both buyers and sellers in all age groups prefer to work with real estate agents. Millennials, at 90 percent, were most likely to purchase using an agent, but at least 84 percent of other generations did so as well. Close to the same percentages of sellers were also agent assisted.
NAR mailed its 131-question survey in July 2017 to a weighted random sample of buyers who had purchased a home between July 2016 and July 2017. The survey could be completed by mail or on-line and was available in both English and Spanish. Of 145,800 surveys mailed, 7,866 were returned.
The 30-story, 340-foot Pierce Boston condo and apartment tower, the tallest building in Boston west of Back Bay, officially opened at Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street in Fenway on March 1.
Four weeks earlier, one of the biggest—and longest-in-coming—new projects in the Boston region got officially underway: The five-building, 1.1 million-square-foot Fenway Center where Brookline and Commonwealth avenues meet in the Kenmore Square area.
These buildings would total more than $1.48 million square feet of commercial, technology, and life science research space—the idea is to rival other regional commercial hubs such as Kendall Square and the Seaport.
It’s there that owner HYM Investment Group has put forward a general redevelopment plan with two paths. Both paths include 16.5 million square feet of new residential, retail, office, hotel, and lab space built out over as long as two decades. (Eleven million square feet of that would go in Boston and 5.5 million in adjoining Revere.)
That pro-commercial path would be paved with the up to 8 million square feet of office space that Amazon is seeking in a new HQ. It would, too, include 7,500 residential units, 550,000 square feet of retail, and up to 830 hotel rooms.
But suppose Amazon choose Dallas or some such exotic placeinstead of Boston. In that case, HYM would take a pro-residential path, with 10,000 housing units, 450,000 square feet of retail, and 670 hotel rooms.
There would also be 5.25 million square feet of office space.
Kendall Square-based M.I.T. is driving much of the change in the Cambridge neighborhood.
Silver Line service from downtown Boston into Chelsea is expected to start this spring. The five-mile route will run from South Station to a stop just west of Everett Avenue, and will facilitate connections to the Red and Blue lines.
An estimated 8,700 people will use the route daily, a figure sure to further boost Chelsea’s status as a Plan B for buyers and renters priced out of Boston proper.
The route will include an exclusive right-of-way for Silver Line buses once in Chelsea, where there will be four stops total. And, as part of the extension, the state will relocate Chelsea’s commuter rail station westward and spruce it up quite a bit.
These developments including the Hub on Causeway, the first phase of which is under construction and is due to include the city’s largest supermarket; a 15-screen movie theater; 10,000 square feet of outdoor space for a new entrance to TD Garden and North Station; and 175,000 square feet of what the developers are calling “creative office space.”
A million dollars doesn't buy what it used to — especially when it comes to luxury real estate.
The Wealth Report, from London-based real estate brokerage Knight Frank, measured the top markets in the world and compared how much prime property $1 million would buy in each.
Monaco still reigns as the most expensive for top-tier property. For $1 million, you can only buy 16 square meters there, about 172 square feet — the size of a respectable walk-in closet.
Hong Kong ranked as the second most expensive market, with $1 million buying about 236 square feet. New York ranked third, nabbing about 270 square feet.
The report highlights how global growth has lifted the fortunes of the wealthy and hiked luxury real estate prices in the top cities. "2017 was a year when the economic stars aligned and relatively healthy growth was seen across most markets," the report said.
Indeed, almost all of the cities have become more expensive over the past year. In Monaco and New York, $1 million buys 1 less square meter than it did a year ago. In London, which ranked fourth, $1 million buys 28 square meters, 2 meters less than a year ago.
Los Angeles saw even stronger prices, with $1 million buying about 620 square feet, compared with about 657 square feet a year ago.
If you're looking for a bargain in luxury real estate, check out Sao Paulo or Cape Town, South Africa. In Cape Town, $1 million buys about 1,700 square feet. In Sao Paulo, $1 million lands more than 1,800 square feet. But even Sao Paolo has become more expensive: Last year $1 million could have purchased 1,900 square feet.
Federal Reserve Bank - First District Boston Posted from: Federalreserve.gov
Summary of Economic Activity Economic activity expanded at a moderate pace in the First District, with almost all retail and manufacturing respondents citing sales and revenues in recent weeks ahead of year-earlier levels. By contrast, staffing firms reported year-over-year revenue declines, reflecting ongoing difficulty finding workers to fill openings. Commercial real estate contacts offered generally upbeat reports. Residential real estate markets in the region saw sales declines and price increases, which respondents attributed to very low inventories. Outlooks continued to be generally positive.
Residential Real Estate Residential real estate markets in the First District showed declines in closed sales despite strong demand. Closed sales for single-family homes decreased in four out of the six reporting areas, while New Hampshire and Maine reported moderate increases. For condos, sales decreased in all reporting areas but Maine. (Three of the six states, as well as the Greater Boston area, reported data through December 2017; Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont reported results to January 2018.)
Median sales prices increased for both single-family homes and condos, except in Vermont. Low inventory continued to be a key constraint in the First District, with all areas except Greater Boston reporting substantial decreases in inventory.
Contacts expressed positive outlooks in terms of market activity, citing strong buyer demand and the prospect of rising mortgage rates as the reasons. A Boston contact noted "Despite these drops in overall sales, activity has remained strong and we're seeing an eager buyer population."
Commercial Real Estate Contacts offered mostly upbeat reports on commercial real estate activity in the First District. Office leasing activity remained robust in greater Providence, driving further increases in rents, although suburban office locations remained less sought-after. Rhode Island's industrial property market continued to experience strong demand. Boston posted an increase in office leasing activity, while leasing activity slowed across all sectors in Connecticut. Construction activity remained robust in Providence and Boston, but luxury multifamily construction continued to dominate in Boston where some contacts cited ongoing concerns about overbuilding in that submarket.
Respondents across the First District voiced concerns that commercial property values could fall in response to rising yields on long-term Treasuries, and cited both upside and downside risks related to recent changes in federal tax laws and the recently signed federal budget. A Connecticut contact said business sentiment remained very weak, leading to a pessimistic outlook for commercial real estate activity. A Rhode Island contact expected slower economic growth in the second half of 2018; by contrast, Boston contacts forecasted stable or strengthening growth despite risks in some submarkets.