Most Expensive Boston Condo Sold (October)

Would it be surprising to know that there have been ten (10) Boston condos that have sold in the last two (2) months for more than $2,000,000 a piece?  As Boston enters the fall market, the most expensive condo sold in the month of October sets a high bar.  Penthouse unit 21K at the Intercontinental Boston Condo Development sold on October 28, 2011 for $6,000,000

After being on the market for 295 days, with a starting listing price of $6,450,000, the 4,752 square foot duplex broke the $1,200+ price per square foot mark in the Waterfront neighborhood of Boston.

Intercontinental Boston Condo Development

Listed for sale by Jeffrey Goldman of Otis & Ahearn, Goldman describes the listing:

Walking into the 1100 square foot living/dining room of this magnificent four bedroom plus study Penthouse is breathtaking! The spectacular vews of Boston Harbor, 10′ high ceilings, gas fireplace and 500 square foot private roof terrace, make this a rare offering on The Waterfront! Each bedroom, has an en-suite bath and the kind of closet space one can only dream about! With the best concierge services in the city and all the amenities of The InterContinental Hotel at your fingertips!

Interested in making the ultra luxury condo-hotel development home, there are currently 4 units for sale in the building – search all Intercontinental Boston condos for sale.

Intercontinental Living Room Boston

Intercontinental Boston Kitchen

Financial District Broadluxe Studio Loft Condo Now Available

Central location and convenience are the story behind the latest listing to hit Boston’s Financial District.  A studio, unit 5F, at the loft-style Broadluxe condominium development hit the market earlier this week.  Unit 5F is essentially the second true resale in the building since the auction in 2008 and the subsequent sellout of the remaining units.

Unit 5F at Broadluxe, a downtown Boston studio loft-style condo boasts approximately 539 square feet and is being offered at $309,900.  The exposed brick and beams, convenient floorplan (554 KB PDF), and extra deeded storage in the basement of the building presents a nice package to those looking for city center living.

Downtown city living loft-style exposed brick and beam studio unit in an elevator served concierge building. In the heart of the Financial District, you’re moments from the Waterfront, all downtown amenities, and the newly completed Greenway. Gas cooking, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, extra deeded storage. In unit W/D hookups. For pure turnkey move in, furnishings negotiable.

An open house will take place at Broadluxe unit 5F this weekend, Sunday, January 23, 2011 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Moments from the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Waterfront, Broadluxe’s Financial District location has proven to be a coveted spot in downtown Boston.  For more information, use the Contact Us link tab at the top of this page.

Broadluxe Financial District Condos

Broadluxe Loft 5F

FP3 Boston Lofts Lower Prices on Several Condos

As Bostonians push through what has now become a hot summer in downtown Boston, FP3, a 92-unit loft-style condo development in the Seaport District recently dropped prices on several units in an effort to continue driving sales.

Earlier this week, two of the six units that represent the Seaport District condo development in MLSpin, one of Boston’s two MLS systems, were lowered in price by approximately 6%.  Unit 203, a 659 square foot condo representative of the studio units in the building was lowered to $329,000, and unit 218, a 1,183 square foot unit was reduced to $549,000.  These latest price movements bring some units on the lower floors of the development into the $400 price per square foot range.

FP3 has held its certificate of occupancy since late 2008, and Buyers are able to immediately move into units upon purchase.  According to LINK, Boston’s second MLS system, 21 of the 92 units in the building have been sold (23%).

Sales Spike at FP3 Boston

FP3, a large-scale new construction and redevelopment building in the heart of Boston’s Seaport District, has seen a spike in sales during the month of July.  Three units have sold in July, practically doubling the total 2009 unit sold count to 7.  Sales statistics for the 3 condos represent a trending upward in average sales price and price per square foot.

Average Sales Price: $455,547
Median Sales Price: $426,640
Average $/SF: $472

The spike in sales may have been attributed to several price adjustments that took place in the April 2009 timeframe  Furthermore, the increase in average sales prices and price per square foot in the face of price reductions can mainly be attributed to previous statistics being heavily influenced by the recording of affordable housing sales in the building.

LINK, one of Boston’s two MLS systems, shows that 20 units have sold at FP3 Boston, which represents approximately 22% of the building.  In addition to FP3, there are approximately 10 other condos for sale in the Seaport District, priced from $589,000 to $3,100,000 in Channel Center, Fort Point Place, and Dockside Place, all of which are loft-style condo buildings.

FP3 Boston

FP3 Boston

Latest Sales at FP3 Boston

We’ve been receiving inquiries related to the latest sales at FP3.  Over the past 6 months, according to LINK (which does a scan of the Registry of Deeds on a regular basis), the only units that have closed in the building have been the affordable housing units.  Condo developers, by choice, opt-in to the affordable housing program sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). FP3 participated in the affordable housing program, and units deemed affordable went to a lottery and since have closed – no further affordable housing options are available at FP3.

On the market-rate front, list prices were lowered on several units this week.  For instance, unit 311, an 850 square foot one-bedroom one-bathroom was reduced from $489,000 to $449,000, unit 205, a 1,031 square foot one-bedroom two-bathroom unit was reduced from $599,000 to $499,000, and unit 215, a 1,382 square foot two-bedroom two-bathroom unit was reduced from $719,000 to $699,000.  According to LINK, 16 of the 92 loft-style condos at FP3 have sold (17%).

FP3 Boston Lofts

FP3 Boston Condos

Boston Condo Hotels: Intercontinental

Condo hotel developments, where a single development houses a hotel as well as condo residences, continue to leave their mark on the Boston skyline.  Forerunners in the Boston condo hotel space include the residences at the Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons, and Rowes Wharf, when in the 1980s, they brought five-star hotel living amenities to downtown residential condos in a tidy and sleek package.  The Boston Intercontinental hit the scene in 2006 with 130 condos that sit above 424 contemporary hotel rooms, enclosed in modern shiny glass along Boston’s Waterfront, approximately 200 yards from the Fort Point Channel’s Boston Tea Party site.

Almost 90% of the Boston Intercontinental residences at 500 Atlantic Avenue have been sold since opening to residents in 2006, and a large handful of developer units, as well as some resales, are currently available for sale.  Construction began on the Intercontinental in late 2004, when there was only a handful of condo hotel developments in Boston. Since that time, we’ve seen several more announced to the market and/or delivered, including, the Mandarin Oriental, Battery Wharf, and the Boston W Hotel.  The Intercontinental boasts a unique location along the Fort Point Channel nestled up against the newly opened Greenway and the bustling Financial District – both the hotel and residences make for an excellent home base for business travelers and financial services workers respectively.

Boston Intercontinental Residences

While some selective slowdowns have occurred in the Boston ultra luxury market, the Intercontinental has held a steady course, and has demonstrated signs of resiliency from a price per square foot perspective over the past 6 months. Over the past twelve months, 16 condos have sold at the Intercontinental:

Condos Sold (Past 12 Months): 16
Average Sales Price: $1,843,418
Median Sales Price: $1,597,000
Average Price per Square Foot: $922
Average Days on Market: 170

Over the past three months, units seem to be lingering longer on the market, but price per square foot in the building has edged up – this may be a function of the fact that the 3 units that did sell were some of the largest and most prestigious units in the building.

Condos Sold (Past 3 Months): 3
Average Sales Price: $2,978,333
Median Sales Price: $2,935,000
Average Price per Square Foot: $982
Average Days on Market: 290

Part of the approximate $1,000 price per square foot values that the Intercontinental is commanding is attributable to the level of service that residents enjoy.  Luxury services include a 24-hour concierge, spa, fitness center, room service, pet-care, and valet parking – as a resident, many of these services are paid for on a continuing basis through monthly HOA fees that average approximately $1.28 per square foot.

There are currently 22 condos for sale at the Intercontinental, with the following statistics:

Condos for Sale: 22
Average Sales Price: $1,633,036
Median Sales Price: $1,175,000
Average Price per Square Foot: $971
Average Days on Market: 178

The least expensive condo for sale in the development is a 421 square foot studio priced at $369,900, and the most expensive currently is the 4,700+ square foot 4+ bedroom penthouse listed at $6.45 million.  8 of the 22 units for sale are under $1 million, while the remainder are over.

Exclusive Broadluxe Auction Interview

Monday marked the completion of developer unit sales at Broadluxe, which represents one of the shortest building sales cycles in some time.   We had the chance to catch up with Brecht Palombo, Broker and Auctioneer of Tranzon Auction Properties, who played an integral role in the auction of Broadluxe, and post auction sales coordination. Broadluxe, a 44-unit loft-style condo development in the heart of the Financial District, was brought to auction on June 21, 2008 after a short marketing blitz.  The event was the most significant Boston condo auction of 2008, and was considered a success by many after Tranzon was able to sell 60%+ of the property on auction day, as well as making quick work of the remaining units for sale in the building post auction.

Can you tell us a little about Tranzon and your role with the firm?

Brecht Palombo: Tranzon is the premier national network of independently operated real estate auction firms. Tranzon Auction Properties operates throughout New England with a headquarters in Portland Maine and with my offices in Lexington Massachusetts. My team in Lexington is responsible for driving new business relationships in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut and we service all of the southern New England auction business that’s written out of our headquarters.

How were you involved in the Broadluxe auction process?

Brecht Palombo: I was intimately involved with every aspect of the Broadluxe auction process starting with communicating with the developer when he was in default back before any real foreclosure proceedings began, through every aspect of the foreclosure auction, then through every aspect of the REO auction and finally I handled all of the negotiated sales of the remaining units after the auction. I worked with the lender, debtor, and lender’s counsel at Riemer and Braunstein etc. I was deeply involved.

What were some of the main factors that contributed to deciding when the auction took place, how long the property was open to the public before the auction, and the mechanisms by which you marketed and promoted the sale?

Brecht Palombo: The client determines when an auction takes place based on their business needs. The campaign lasted 27 days. The auction process is about controlling time and terms. The auction marketing process involves a broad, deep, and rapid exposure to the market on a very condensed time frame. In this case we relied heavily on technology, specifically a variety of online marketing initiatives, to promote the sale.

Was the auction considered a success, and if so, why?

Brecht Palombo: Absolutely. An auction is about a rapid recovery of capital. This campaign recovered two-thirds of appraised value in the first 30 days and recovered a total of 93% of the appraised value in 180 days according to the lender’s own internal documents. I’d point out that the appraisals we are working from were done in April/May of 2008, and Boston condo prices in this area have fallen during that time.

What was the biggest surprise that you ran into on auction day?

Brecht Palombo: There weren’t too many surprises but I guess I would say that what we saw was a number of successful bidders decided on the spot that they wanted to buy more than one unit and they weren’t prepared. We had to work with our client to accommodate them but I don’t think our flat-footedness on this item was apparent to bidders and it did allow us to sell several more units at the auction.

Broadluxe Lofts - Boston Financial District Condos

You’ve had listing experience (for individual homes), how much faster do you think the auction process and ensuing post-auction sales process sold these units versus the sales center approach we typically see in Boston?

Brecht Palombo: You folks may be better at answering that question than I am. How long would it take to bring a 44-unit building to market from zero to sold out in 2008? We sold 66% in 30 days, 80% in 90 days, and finished them off in less than 180 days. Have you seen any other new projects sell out in 6 months?

What was the reaction of the broker and agent community to the auction, and how do you think that those constituencies helped or hurt the auction?

Brecht Palombo: The reaction was mixed. I think some agents chose to ignore the project for whatever reason but there were a small number of agents who were very active and sold a number of units . MLS rules and regulations forbid us from entering every auction we conduct in the system but we almost always encourage broker participation unless our client forbids it, even then we’ll push back. We believe that embracing the brokerage community is in the best interest of our sellers. Brokers definitely contributed to our success.

What was one of the biggest lessons learned from the Broadluxe sales process?

Brecht Palombo: When we were first going to bring these units to market there was a lot of internal debate about how to get people there. There are a variety of methods at an auctioneer’s disposal. In the end we decided to go with guaranteed-sold published minimum bids. This meant that if you showed up and bid you were guaranteed a sale unless you were outbid. Our numbers were good for that day only. As I look at the success and failure rates of the various condo auctions over the last year, I think it’s pretty clear the bidding public approves of this message.

Do you foresee further development-level auctions (in Boston) similar to Broadluxe in 2009?

Brecht Palombo: Well we sure hope so… but if you’re asking if I see more lenders and developers embracing the auction process to eliminate inventory in 2009 the answer is a resounding yes.

Last P&S Signed at Broadluxe

As of Wednesday, the last Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S) was signed at Broadluxe, (tentatively) bringing to a close original sales for all units in the 44-unit loft-style development.  66% of the property was sold at auction on June 21, 2008, and the remaining condos in the building were listed for sale following the auction, typically at higher price points than what was paid at the auction block.

There are currently 4 resale units in the building for sale, ranging in price from $429,000 to $999,000 – the $429K unit, a corner one-bedroom loft is the most reasonably priced from a price per square foot perspective.

We’ll take a more comprehensive look at this development, and the results of the auction and post-auction sales, in the near future.

FP3 Seaport District Condos Slow to Sell

When Berkeley Investments Inc., local restaurateur Barbara Lynch, and Mayor Thomas Menino broke ground at the mixed-use FP3 condo development on Friday, April 20, 2007, the project was heralded as the new luxury baseline in the Fort Point Channel.  More than a year and a half later, the development is now a reality, but the 92 residential loft-style condos are not moving off the market.

In July of 2008, a Berkeley employee was quoted in Banker & Tradesman saying that 38 units were Under Agreement poised to close when the certificate of occupancy was issued later in the summer (see Brokers: Fort Point Condo Project Too Pricey for Neighborhood 100 KB PDF), yet, fast forward to today, and a very different reality exists with the certificate of occupancy indeed in place, but only 9 units have sold, and 2 are Under Agreement.

The pertinent condo sales statistics at FP3 currently include:

  • Number of Listings Sold: 9
  • Percentage of Building Sold: 9.8%
  • Average Sale Price: $610,436
  • Median Sale Price: $541,000
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $659
  • Average Days on Market: 120

FP3 Boston Condos

The popular restaurateur Barbara Lynch has opened the much hyped Sportello restaurant on the ground floor of FP3, alongside her new lounge, simply called Drink. The presence of Lynch onsite has been one of the cornerstones of marketing for FP3 developers, both for the condo development itself, and the overall neighborhood, but condo sales in the building have not been able to keep pace with the opening of Lynch’s new posh attractions.

Local real estate broker, Elad Bushari of Bushari Group Real Estate says that he is a fan of the area,”the location is great, close to the Financial District, the red line and great restaurants. The top floors are amazing, big windows, outdoor space, and great views.” However, Bushari cites price in accounting for the significant difference in sales velocity between FP3 and more popular condo developments such as 285 Columbus Lofts that are approaching sold out status in a much shorter sales cycle with,”I think that it has a lot to do with the developer’s flexibility on prices, most of the feedback I received from my buyers is that it’s just too expensive; the area is going to be great but it’s not there yet.”

While the price points, and lack of price reductions, may be keeping potential new Buyers at bay, current residents have reason to smile. Berkeley Investments has yet to cut prices to the point where current residents are stuck with negative equity in their units, an unfortunate reality for some Bostonians who buy early at new luxury condo developments. It’s a balancing act to try and buy the specific unit that you desire in a new condo development early in the preconstruction sales cycle, but at the same time, avoid buying in too early so as to avoid (oftentimes inevitable) developer price reductions on future unsold units that will ultimately bring palatable building price points below preconstruction levels.

“I don’t think they need to do much more. Their marketing looks pretty good to me, I don’t know their traffic, but they are noticeable, at least in the brokers community,” states Bushari.

Heading into the winter months, there are currently two units (210, 217) Under Agreement at FP3 Boston, both units at the lower end of the price scale in the building with a studio and a one-bedroom listed at  $349,000 and $449,000 respectively – FP3 condo fees
do include concierge services.

FP3 Boston Lofts Lobby

Affordable Financial District Loft Living

Situated in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, the Broadluxe loft-style condo development is, after several months, now down to its final two developer units. The final two units, both studios, and essentially the same floor plan, are approximately 540 square feet, have the same finishes that other units in the building contain, including granite countertops, exposed brick and beam, washer / dryer hookup, and extra storage in the basement.

Broadluxe 5F Kitchen

The two units, 4F and 5F, are both listed at $299,000, however, this price comes on the heels of several price reductions in an effort to move the last of the remaining inventory off the books of owner Apex, Inc. (a subsidiary of TD Banknorth).  The developer has appraisals in hand for the units at approximately $340,000, and are being aggressive about closing out the remaining two studio lofts.

Condo fees for these units are approximately $320 per month, and include hot water, water, sewer, master insurance, security (including concierge Monday through Friday), elevator, exterior maintenance, snow removal, refuse removal.  For more information, use the contact us link at the top of this page.