Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

New Development Review

The Archer – 45 Temple Street – Beacon Hill

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 142 Chestnut Street, unit 8/9 – A Great Flat of the Hill Duplex

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 129 Pinckney Street – Nice Beacon Hill Single Family, $813/sf – Well Bought
  • 1 Dalton St, unit 3901 (Four Seasons) – Another Flip at the “Prince of Darkness” – Well Sold 

New Development Review

The Archer – 45 Temple Street Beacon Hill
The Archer – Beacon Hill

There were a handful of price reductions at The Archer (45 Temple Street, Beacon Hill) last week which prompted us to have another look at the property.

Development Background

The Archer is a 62 unit redevelopment of two commercial buildings that were previously part of Suffolk University’s Law School campus. The site was also the home of the Boston English School back in the 1820s. Temple Street is on the North side of the Hill, directly behind the State House and runs down to Cambridge street, parallel to Bowdoin Street.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Special Spring Inventory Edition

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 220 Boylston Street, unit 1205/07/09 – $5,352/sf, Seriously? – $18.0 million ($5,352/sf)
  • 1 Huntington Ave. unit PH1802 – Great Unit, Mediocre Building – $7.995 million ($2,757/sf)
  • 1 Dalton Street, unit 4305 – Complete With the Finest Used Furniture – $7.5 million ($3,428/sf)
  • 776 Boylston Street, unit E9-D – That Well Lived in Feel – $5.5 million ($2,495/sf)
  • 96 Beacon Street, unit 2 – “The Walk Out Level” – $5.499 million ($1,942/sf)
  • 71 Mount Vernon Street, unit 3-5 – Beacon Hill Value Play! – $4.8 million ($1,234/sf)
  • 20 Charles River Square – Great Condominium Alternative – $4.1 million ($1,374/sf)
  • 82 Mount Vernon Street, unit 1 – Will the Third Time Be the Charm? – $3.249 million ($1,842/sf)

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 28 Mount Vernon, unit 2 – A Lackluster Bidding War? Great Apartment  – Well Bought
  • 48 Commonwealth Ave, unit 2 – The Rising Tide Lifts All Values? We Think Not – Well Sold

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Above vs. Below Grade Living Area – New MLS Transparency

There’s Nothing Luxurious About a Basement

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 142 Beacon Street, unit PH – A 29% Markup in Just Over a Year? No Thanks

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 17 Louisburg Square – Hail the Liquidity Gods – Very Happy Brokers – Well Sold 
Above vs Below Grade Living Area – New MLS Transparency

The eastern Massachusetts Multiple Listing Service (MLSPIN) has updated their systems to break out living area square footage above and below grade. With “garden and parlor” level units so prevalent in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, this added transparency is very good for buyers. We’ve long taken the stance that a discount should be applied to “lower level” living areas and this will make that exercise more straight forward 

We don’t hide the fact that we’re not fans of below grade finished living areas, i.e. kitchens, bedrooms, etc. Almost all below grade spaces have that distinctive musty basement smell; they’re prone to flooding, sewer backups, and rodent infestation.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

The Real Reason Real Estate Prices Go Up

(Hint, It’s Not Supply/Demand)

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 28 Mount Vernon St., unit 2 – What’s Not to Love About this De Facto Single Family?

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 146 Mount Vernon Street – Someone Interesting Lived Here – Well Bought
  • 776 Boylston St., unit E12B (Mandarin Oriental) – A Wallet Fight at the Mandarin? – Well Sold

The Real Reason Real Estate Prices Go Up

Having grown up on a trading desk (I’m a third generation stockbroker), markets and asset valuation are a bit of an obsession. Like all vigilant market observers, we’re always on the lookout for trends. Subtle trends can be a window into the future and can give you the edge.

We recently highlighted a trend in our market where people were selling properties after just six to 18 months (see “Real Estate Mulligans”). In the note, we pointed out that these sellers aren’t flippers looking to make a quick buck, they’re just looking to get their money back. We explored the trend a little deeper, going back five plus years and the story is more or less the same – many sellers clearly just want their money back.

So why then are prices going up? The answer is simple – fees.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

“Includes Parking” (Sort of…)

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • VALUE ALERT – Five Amazing Back Bay Co-Op Opportunities

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 257 Commonwealth Ave, unit 3 – The Back Bay Clearing Price – Well Bought
  • 197 Commonwealth Ave, unit 2 – A Rare Back Bay Bidding War – Well Sold

“Includes Parking” (Sort of…)

“Includes parking” – these words are the holy grail for urban real estate marketing. Off street parking is hands down the most coveted amenity in our market, but like everything else with real estate, the devil is in the details. 

In new developments, what is often passed off as “deeded” parking can be deceptive, and expensive. Most of the parking for unit owners at 1 Dalton Street is under long term lease with the Christian Science Church and located in a garage below the Church’s reflecting pool.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

“Just Say No” – The Anatomy of a Flip

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 100 Beacon Street, unit 6 – We Love the Apartment, But We Don’t Love the Valuation

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 300 Boylston Street (The Heritage), unit 603 – Aging in Place on Boston’s Central Park South – Well Bought
  • 400 Stuart Street, unit 22E (The Clarendon) – Another Quarter Million Dollar Loss – Well Sold

“Just Say No” – The Anatomy of a Flip

1 Dalton Street

We’ve been on the record that buying individual condominium units strictly for investment purposes is a horrible way to build wealth. Unit 5102 at 1 Dalton Street (the “new Four Seasons”) was listed for sale this week for $10.45 million ($3,548/sf), 16% above the November 2019 purchase price.

We’re going on a limb and assuming that this unit is investor owned – it’s titled to an LLC with a mailing address c/o an investment firm, the owner didn’t file for a “Personal Exemption” (a property tax break for people who actually live in their unit), and the unit has been on the rental market. If it walks and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Winthrop Center Pivots, Selling Condominiums – Time to Sell at 1 Franklin?

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 22 Charles River Square – A Bit Pricey, But Great House

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 1 Franklin Street, unit 5103 – When Losing is Winning – Well Sold
  • 110 Sudbury, unit 4703-4 – In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King – Well Bought
Winthrop Center Pivots, Selling Condominiums – Time to Sell at 1 Franklin?
Winthrop Center – Financial District

At the onset of the pandemic, Millennium Partners was caught flat footed when the financing for their mega Winthrop Center project fell through. With construction already underway, the developer went scrambling to line up new financing which resulted in a scaled down project. 

The residential component of Winthrop Center, a 1.4 million square foot 53 story mixed-use  development (office/residential) located in the heart of the financial district, was originally slated as  luxury condominiums. In conjunction with the new construction financing, Millennium notified the City in June of 2020 that rather than selling high-end condominiums, the project would “initially be a rental program.”

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Time Kills Deals” – The Real Estate Mulligan

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 401 Beacon Street unit 2 – Price Increase… Seriously?

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 434 Marlborough Street – Good Value on the West Side of Mass Ave – Well Bought
  • 333 Commonwealth Ave, unit 22-24 – Dreadful Floor Plan, But a Good Deal – Well Bought
Time Kills Deals” – The Real Estate Mulligan
4-5 Arlington Street

From time to time, people buy a property and within months they put it back up for sale, often without ever having spent one night there. There are plenty of valid reasons as to why this can happen: job transfer, divorce, health issues, etc. Sometimes the purchase just wasn’t well thought out. 

When it comes to what we call “real estate mulligans,” the name of the game for sellers is to get their money back (net of fees) ASAP. The problem is that the fees are significant – round trip you’re talking in excess of 10%. While mulligans aren’t necessarily a trend, it happens more often than you’d expect. Here are a few recent ones.

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here.“The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Batterymarch Group Featured in Banker & Tradesman

Batterymarch Insider

Batterymarch Group LLC is a full service independent real estate brokerage firm specializing in the downtown Boston market. More about our services here. “The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

Property Spotlight – On the Market:

  • Back Bay vs Back Bay 2.0 – The Mandarin vs 380 Beacon Street

Well Bought/Well Sold:

  • 34 ½ Beacon Street, unit 1 – Yabba Dabba Doo! Cave living? – Well Sold

Property Spotlight

Batterymarch Group is focused on buyer representation, so the highlighted listings are not ours. These are our opinions, so take them with a grain of salt. We’re happy to set up showings of these properties, offer our valuation analysis, and assist with preliminary renovation budgets when needed.

Back Bay vs Back Bay 2.0 – The Glut of New Development
360-380 Beacon Street (Beacon Court)

We recently highlighted how the glut of new development “luxury” condominiums in newly created neighborhoods is changing the downtown residential market. Historically, if you wanted a premium city residence, your choices were pretty much limited to the Back Bay or Beacon Hill. In recent years, however, these new developments are pulling buyers away from the traditional locations and into these new neighborhoods. The end result is increasing competition for the luxury buyer.