Bostons newest goliath

Apparently I’ve been under a rock, I swear I wasn’t playing Mansion Impossible.  Regardless, Boston’s skyline might be getting a facelift.  Only one developer, Steve Belkin, actually bid on the project.  He might have had a slight advantage, seeing as he owns an adjoining property.  

As seen above, the new building designed by Renzo Piano, will be 75 stories, 15 stories higher than the current New England record holder, the John Hancock Tower.  It will feature 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, and 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. It will also have an additional 55,000 square feet of public space including a one acre town green on the ground floor with public art, as well as a wind protected, richly landscaped, public observatory area on the top of the building.

The location will be bound by Franklin St. to the North, Summer St. to the South, Devonshire St. to the West, and Federal St. to the East.

Home Prices in Boston Cambridge Quincy MA


CNN reported on home prices across the country.  Hold onto your hats people, the bubble has popped, the sky is falling, housing prices fell a whopping …… 1.2% this quarter compared to a year ago. What does that mean?  Not too much because real estate is local. Fortunately, the article is kind enough to break it down by city, and by single family homes and condos.  These numbers were based on the median price of homes.

Cheers go to:

- Salem, Oregon where single family homes (median price $228k) saw a 24.7% increase from the third quarter last year.
- Knoxville, Tennessee where condos (median price $155.7k) saw a 29% increase over last year.
- other notable cheers go out to Seattle/Tacoma/Bellview WA (single family) and Honolulu HI (condos) that had both high median prices and good percentage increases over the last year.

And the Jeers:

- Detroit MI area single family homes ($154.1k median) lost 10.5% of their value  from last year.
- and Sarasota FL area condos ($275.6k median) lost 11% (ouch) of their value.

So where does that put Boston? Unfortunately we’re in the red.  For single family homes Boston / Cambridge / Quincy ($412.3k median) lost 4.3% from last year.  Strangely enough, Boston / Cambridge / Quincy condos  (median $300.8k) are doing a little better, having lost only 1.9% of their value over last year.

Zillowblog sends some love to Boston Real Estate

Well, at least they did their best.  It’s not for everyone, but ZillowBlog takes a quick focus on the Boston Real Estate market, with its new heatmap.  I’m a little upset that my stomping grounds are left out (Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville kind of stick out when you look at it this way), but they’re not Boston Proper.

Anyway, yeah we can sit here and pick away at the minor innaccuracies of what’s wrong with the blog, like grouping together Back Bay and Beacon Hill, or calling it Central boston as opposed to the individual neighborhood names (North End, Ladder District, etc..).  But there was something a little bigger that stood out to me.  And my problem was with this:


If you don’t know Boston, this means squat to you.  BUt these numbers are based on their Zindex value.  And Kenmore Square is at the bottom of the list. Now that just doesn’t make any sense to me.  I will tell you right now that Kenmore Square is a much much much more desirable location than Roxbury (no offense Roxbury, but you know you want to live in Kenmore Square too).

A lot of these neighborhoods are out of whack, order wise.  At least this is an easier to spot problem, than the issues with Zestimates.  The main problem is that they are just looking at prices. Period.   What they are failing to take into account is the type of housing in these neighborhoods, land value, and price per square foot.

Kenmore is down on the list because it’s such a desirable neighborhood, with such limited space, that a majority of what’s selling there are studios, one beds, and 700 square foot two beds.  Not the type of area that I would put at the bottom of any list.

Prime example:

In the Fenway $500K will get you  Pre-Construction Pricing. Garage Parking. Elevator. Private terraces. Zen roof deck with kitchen & artist workspace. Dennis Duffy designed common areas, kitchens, and baths. HW floor upgrades. Sleek and flexible living spaces due for occupancy Summer 2007. Approx. Living Area: 863 sq. ft. ($578.22/sq. ft.)

In Roxbury $449,000 will get you a 5 bed 1.5 bath 2120 sq ft ($211.79 / sq ft) on .08 acres “turn of the century charming mansard colonial, many updates, first floor laundry, handy to major routes downtown.” 

Sorry Zillow, back to the old drawing board.

Synova is comming to Boston

Holy Crow!!  Someone is moving INTO Massachusetts!!! Horray new jobs!  That’s right Synova is moving into Boston.

 Yahoo’s press release has more info about the company itself, they make a water-jet guided lasers. 

But I’m thrilled because after tons of news about people leaving Massachusetts, we are now presented with a new increase in damand for high skilled workers.  This will raise the average wage, therefore increasing what people can afford to spend, and help support property values. We hope?

Property Monger Upgraded!

We are moving up in the world.  First there was our first reader but we’ve also been upgraded from “who the?” to “some guy named Jon

Our sincerest thanks to The Boston Real Estate Blog for the honor.  He’s been blogging since before I’d ever considered trying it.  And manages to keep his focus on Boston a whole lot better than I do.  Good info, we’ll be keeping the link around and checking it out.