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.

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.

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 Edition

Real Estate Investing – Is the Low Fruit Off the Tree?

Higher Interest Rates – Toxic For Real Estate Investors

Winthrop Center – Financial District

In our year ahead report, we outlined potential headwinds to the downtown Boston residential real estate market (see report here). At the top of our list was the prospect of higher interest rates, and we touched on the cost of credit as well as the potential negative impact on the wealth effect. In this report, we’re looking at how rising interest rates may impact real estate investors and the implications for values and liquidity.

Investor activity in our market is rampant, and for good reason. Boston is a premier world class city with a fundamentally strong economy. For many years, the downtown Boston market was supply constrained. Couple that with ultra low interest rates and a banking system overflowing with liquidity and you’re off to the races.

The 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.

  • Biggest Mistakes Real Estate Buyers Make – How To Avoid Them

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • “Bring Your Contractor” – Three Great Renovation Candidates
    • 287 Commonwealth Avenue, unit 4
    • 282 Beacon Street, unit 6
    • 50 Brimmer Street

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 185 Marlborough Street, unit 3 – Plain Vanilla (in a good way) Older Renovation – Well Sold

What’s Catching Our Eye

Biggest Mistakes Real Estate Buyers Make

When we see real estate transactions where the valuation seems out of line, we do a little digging to see what we may have missed and to get a better understanding of the parties involved in these deals. More often than not, when it comes to transactions with inflated prices, at least one of three common denominators is at play: out of town buyers, dual/designated agency, or a sales agent out of their geographic area of knowledge.

The dirty little secret of real estate brokerage is that brokers and their sales agents won’t stop you from overpaying – they’ll look the other way. Below is a brief look at the three common pitfalls. 

The 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.

In this issue:

  • NEW – The Batterymarch Back Bay Index© – A Breakthrough Valuation Tool

Property Spotlight – On the Market

  • 29 Commonwealth Ave. (Haddon Hall) – You’d Think That They Are Giving Them Away!

Well Bought/Well Sold

  • 126 Marlborough Street – Full Price – Record $/SF – Well Sold
  • 101 Chestnut Street, unit R – All the Money, but All the Apartment! – Well Bought

What’s Catching Our Eye

NEW – The Batterymarch Back Bay Index© – A Breakthrough Valuation Tool.

Trying to nail down what’s going on with real estate valuations is for the most part a fool’s errand, largely because the data is, for a lack of better explanation, manipulated. We’re launching our first in what will be a series of reliable valuation indices – the Batterymarch Back Bay Index© (BBBI).

The BBBI tracks both valuation and transaction volume of Back Bay two bedroom condominium resales as reported by MLS. It eliminates outlier transactions (defined as price per square foot >100% of the trailing twelve month average), new development sales, and off market transactions. By eliminating the noise, market participants can get a clean view of what is actually going on in the secondary market.

The 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.

2022 Market Outlook

Can the Goldilocks Market Continue?

As we head into 2022, we ponder how long the “Goldilocks” environment for real estate values can continue. Having spent decades on Wall Street, we’re the first to acknowledge that forecasting future market moves is generally a humbling task.

Last year in our core markets, Back Bay and Beacon Hill, prices were more or less flat on higher volumes. The Batterymarch Back Bay Index© registered a year-over-year price gain of just 1% on 24% higher volume, although the ultra high-end of the market ($10mm+) fared much better.