Larger homes with more square footage drove 4th-quarter Boston condo prices
Jan 2011 04

As I mentioned last week, condo prices rose in five of the downtown Boston neighborhoods during the 4th quarter 2010, including in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Midtown, Waterfront, and South End.

Take the Back Bay, for example. In 4th quarter 2010, the top Back Bay real estate brokerage sold 25 condos. Taking out the units they sold during a well-publicized auction, the total is lowered to thirteen.

Added all together, they sold three 2-bedrooms, two 1-bedrooms, and nine 3-bedrooms. Roughly, the average condo sold had 1,776 square feet of space. The average sales price was $1.727 million at an average of $995 per square foot.

In 4th-quarter 2009, as comparison, this brokerage sold 29 condos (4 more). Nineteen of these were a part of that same condo development that ended up at auction in 4th-quarter 2010, so remove them. That leaves ten condos sold.

Added all together, they sold four 1-bedrooms, four 2-bedrooms, and two 3-bedrooms. Roughly, the average condo sold had 1,550 square feet of space (roughly, 220 square feet less). The average sales price was $1.453 million at an average of $983 per square foot (almost the same).

So, average price jumped even though number of sales dropped.

This is just one small example of what was happening in Boston Proper during the fourth quarter. The return of the “high-end” buyer means, to me at least, renewed confidence in the market and the economy. It’s a small sign, but a significant one. Watch this in first quarter 2011.

Above, a unit for sale at 360 Newbury, a luxury condo building in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. It has ~852 square feet and is listed for $699,000.

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