The Insider

“The 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:

  • Urban vs Green Acres
  • 771 Harrison Ave. (The Cosmopolitan) – Huge price cuts
  • 175 Beacon St. – Single family white elephant moves, $11.75 million – Well Bought
  • 2 Commonwealth Ave., unit 11C – Gets a quick contract
  • 75 Beacon St., unit 1 – $9.3 million lower level duplex – Well Sold

What’s Catching Our Eye

The tale of two cities in residential real estate continues as urban markets suffer in favor of greener pastures. Condominium inventory in Boston is stacking up. In the Back Bay, inventory is up 65% year-over-year which translates into approximately 10 months of supply, compared to 4.5 months a year ago. This is in stark contrast to the bidding wars in the suburbs.

It remains to be seen if price reductions, low interest rates, and the promise of a Covid vaccine will entice buyers to return to the City in numbers. The fall selling season is relatively short; if sales don’t start picking up we’ll come into the spring market with bloated inventory.

Prices Slashed at the Cosmopolitan

771 Harrison Ave.

The developer of the Cosmopolitan, a new 63 unit re-development of the Church of the Immaculate Conception located at 771 Harrison Avenue, took a meat cleaver to prices twice in the last eight days, with reductions on penthouse units 2,3,7, and 12. 

The asking price of Penthouse unit 7 was chopped by a whopping 30%, or $1,379,600. This unit can now be yours for $3,276,550. Time will tell if this does the trick to find a buyer.

The pipeline of new residential developments in Boston is substantial and price reductions of this magnitude likely have other developers somewhat on edge. We’ll be addressing the Boston market new development overhang in a separate in-depth post. 

175 Beacon Trades – Well Bought

175 Beacon St.

After 774 days on the market, this newly renovated, single family at 175 Beacon Street sold this week for $11,750,000, a 24% discount to the original listing price of $15,500,000.

This is a great house in a great location, but as this developer learned, the market for 8,350 square feet spread over six floors in the Back Bay is thin. We’re going to call this one well bought.

2 Commonwealth Unit 11C Gets a Quick Contract

2 Comm. Ave.

2 Commonwealth Avenue Unit 11C (asking $10,750,000) is reported to be under contract in just 15 days. It’s no wonder – the views are spectacular, it has nearly 3,900 square feet on one floor, and the unit comes with three deeded valet parking spaces.

The market for high rise luxury condominiums is getting crowded, but 2 Comm Ave, with it’s amazing location and views, is still the Back Bay bellwether in our book. It should be noted that all this luxury comes with a steep price, condominium fees alone will run you $93,252 a year.

75 Beacon Unit 1 Sells – Well Sold

75 Beacon Street

After 431 days on the market, unit 1 at 75 Beacon Street traded last week for $8,300,000 – an 11% discount to the asking price of $9,300,00. This property was just fully renovated and converted into a two unit condominium, unit 1 being the lower level duplex. This one checks all of the boxes – location, two deeded parking spaces (one in the newly excavated underground garage, the other on the street), and all of the amenities one would expect at this price point.

Notwithstanding the million dollar discount, $8.3 million, or 2,453/sf, seems like a lot of money to live in a parlor level unit to us. We’re calling this well sold.

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