The Batterymarch Insider

“The Batterymarch Insider” is a brief snapshot of our current market thinking and some highlights of what we see going on in the downtown Boston market. As always, our “terms of use” apply. We encourage you to subscribe.

In this issue:

  • Brisk sales in the Seaport
  • 117 Beacon St., $9.25 million triplex, 20% discount – Well Sold
  • 6 West Cedar St. – Solid Beacon Hill single family, needs everything – Well Sold
  • 41 Mt. Vernon St., unit 1B – 9.5% price cut, still seems too pricey
  • 30 Chestnut – $16.995 single family? Time will tell

What’s Catching Our Eye

Inventories have leveled out this week with Back Bay condominium supply still running just over 10 months. We’re seeing more canceled listings, which is to be expected as we approach the holiday season. We suspect that many sellers may throw in the towel sooner this year with the hope that market conditions will improve this spring with a Covid vaccine.

As has been the trend for some time in Boston, there continues to be a decent amount of activity in the sub $1.5 million price point. Activity is spotty as you move up the price curve. The new development sector continues to be pretty healthy, particularly at the Echelon, a 390 unit new development in the Seaport which put several units under contract last week.

We’d call your attention to a report we put out this week, The Great Boston Building Boom, that quantifies approved new developments in Boston and how they could disrupt the supply demand balance. Click here to see the report.

117 Beacon Street – Quick sale at $9,250,000 – Well Sold

117 Beacon Street

We’re not surprised by the quick sale here. This nicely recently renovated 5,100+ sf triplex penthouse has it all – great location (although it’s not on the river side of Beacon), private elevator, two car garage, and private roof deck. What surprised us is the price. The unit was listed at $11.5 million and went under contract in three days for $9.25 million ($1,807/sf), nearly a 20% discount.

As much as the buyer got a great property at a market correct price, having spent most of my life on a trading desk, I love to see someone “hit the bid.” We’re calling this one – well sold.

6 West Cedar Street – Beacon Hill Single Family – Well Sold

6 West Cedar Street

After 160 days on market, 6 West Cedar, a 3,900 sf single family, changed hands last week for $3,950,000 (original asking price $4,600,000). The sellers paid $3,380,000 for the house 19 years ago, so not much of a return here but, from the looks of it, they didn’t put much money into the place. Naturally, their dividends came in the form of living in a great house for 19 years.

By our way of thinking, this block of West Cedar Street is one of the best in Beacon Hill, and the scale of this house seems just right to us. This house is clearly in need of updating, and in our experience these projects go well beyond just the kitchen and baths. We’re calling this one – well sold.

41 Mount Vernon Street, unit 1B – Big Price Cut

41 Mount Vernon Street

After 175 days on the market, the price of unit 1B at 41 Mount Vernon Street was slashed by $724,000, or 9.5% this week. It can now be yours for $6.774 million. 41 Mount Vernon was converted from an office building into 7 luxury condominium units in 2018-19. Unit 1B is 3,400 sf duplex occupying the street and garden level (garden level is Beacon Hill speak for basement).

This condominium conversion was very well executed with high end finishes. There’s a 24-hour concierge and valet parking, but there is a catch to the valet parking – you need to provide your own parking space. The upper level of this unit gets great light with oversized windows and 13’ ceilings. For us, the knock on this unit is the goldfish bowl effect of being right at street level. Fortunately, it comes with automated window shades. It looks like investors bought the unit for a flip; public record show that they paid $5.665 million for it in November of 2019. These flippers are still well in the money.

30 Chestnut – New Single Family Listing, $16,995,000

This 8,131 sf single family is being offered pre-construction (now is your chance to pick your paint colors) for a whopping $16,995,000. Public records show that the developer bought the house in mid-March of this year for $6.8 million. With $10.0 million to work with, we’d expect this place to be over the top when finished.

30 Chestnut Street

It’s worth pointing out that, according to available records, the highest price ever paid for a single family home in the City of Boston was $13.0 million back in 2017 (197 Marlborough Street). Urban legend has it that there have been some private sales at higher levels.

For the budget minded, the developer is also offering to divide the property into two condominium units, the upper 4,000 sf can be had for just $9,995,000.

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