Real Estate

Real Estate Sales Dive in Downtown Boston; Listing Inventory at 5-Year High

A new report shows that real estate sales in Downtown Boston took a big hit in recent months with the number of sales down 19.3% to 555 in the last quarter of 2018 versus the year earlier period. In addition, inventory spiked with an increase of 28.2% to 364 listings, the highest in the past five years.

The news comes from appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate (formerly Otis & Ahearn in Boston) including condo sales in the neighborhoods of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charleston, Fenway, Midtown, North End, Seaport, South Boston, South End, Waterfront and West End.

Sales prices were relatively stable with the median at $838,500. The average sales price was down 3.2% to $1.1 million but still showing a 3.8% increase in price per square foot to $1,020.

The largest sales declines were seen in the Waterfront (-49%), Beacon Hill (-42%), South End (-30%) and Charlestown (-25%). The Seaport (+58%), North End (+13%) and Fenway (+13%) showed increases despite the downturn elsewhere. It also took 12.5% longer to sell a condo, averaging 54 days from listing to closing.

The ultra-luxury market (top 10% by price) saw a fall of 7.8% in average sales price to $3.4 million. The number of ultra-lux sales were down 42% from the previous quarter and 19% from the year earlier. Still, the price per square foot was up 14% to $1,705.

4 Replies to “Real Estate Sales Dive in Downtown Boston; Listing Inventory at 5-Year High

  1. Well, let’s see:

    1. Trump’s tax “cut” limited deductions on State and local taxes, including property taxes.

    2. Boston’s property tax assessments have gone up for several years in a row, significantly increasing carrying costs.

    3. Boston City Councilors are proposing a 6% transfer tax on real estate over $2 million.

    They might as well take out a billboard telling anyone that wants to invest in Boston to go somewhere else. Boston real estate has a lot more to fall as property owners are figuring this out.

  2. Could the new Air B&B ordinance be another reason for the increase in inventory?
    Lots of speculators bought condos just to furnish and rent short term. I have no sympathy for these vultures.

    1. I was thinking the same thing, but then I saw Seaport explosion. They have been adding new luxury units for years now. I’m wondrering whether the laws of supply and demand have taken over. Despite the high asking prices, the luxury market could be saturated and the majority are just priced out. With the BnB investors fleeing ahead of the new law, the real estate market could be headed toward a buyers market. The Perfect Storm if you’re selling. Good arguement if you’re trying for an abatement.

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