Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.


      Blog :: 11-2013

      ¿Qué es en realidad el día de Acción de Gracias?

      Probablemente durante estos últimos días alguien le ha preguntado si saldrá de vacaciones por acción de gracias o que planes tiene para esta fecha. Mañana se celebra uno de los días favoritos de Estados Unidos, el Día de Acción de Gracias. Si todavía no conocen muy bien las costumbres americanas se imaginarán a una familia alrededor de una mesa comiendo pavo y celebrando este último jueves del mes de noviembre por todo lo alto. Sin embargo, pero la pregunta es: ¿De donde procede esta tradición?

      Esta fiesta se comenzó a celebrar con los primeros sucesos de la colonización inglesa durante el año 1620. Un grupo de conquistadores cristianos, conocido como los peregrinos,  viajó a America y desembarcaron en el mes de noviembre, casualmente aquí, en la costa de Massachussetts. Los colonos se propusieron como objetivo formar una colonia llamada la Colonia de Plymouth. Sin embargo, el terrible inviernos les pilló por sorpresa y estuvieron expuestos a unas temperaturas extremadamente bajas, ocasionando la muerte a más de la mitad de los peregrinos. Aquellos que lograron sobrevivir fue gracias a la ayuda y alimentos que los nativos de la zona, los indios Wampanoag, les proporcionaron.

      Asimismo, en el año 1621, después de que los peregrinos que lograron sobrevivir recogieran la cosecha que recolectaron durante el invierno, organizaron una gran cena e invitaron a los Wampanoag a que la disfrutaran con ellos. Desde entonces el gobernador de la colonia proclamó "un día de dar gracias al Señor para que podamos de una manera regocijarnos después de haber recogido el fruto de nuestro trabajo".

      La tradición como tal, sería establecida en el año 1789 con el presidente George Washington, festejando está celebración el último jueves del mes de noviembre. Fue él quien estableció el día oficial de la fiesta de Acción de Gracias. Años más tarde Abraham Lincoln sería el que declarase este día como fiesta nacional en Estados Unidos.


      Respecto con el menú, no se sabe muy bien de donde procede la costumbre del pavo. De hecho se cree que los indígenas llamaban "pavo" a todo tipo de animales. Es por ello, que con el paso del tiempo al final  el pavo se ha convertido en la comida clave del día de acción de gracias.

      Thankful To Be A Homeowner or Property Renter?

      It's Thanksgiving week, and in the midst of all the family festivity planning and turkey day celebrations, your home is the most important - if not crucial - element in it all. It's where you'll be welcoming guests and serving those carefully-made meals. And regardless of whether you're hosting or attending, the home is central to holiday celebration. And so, this got us to wonder - how many celebrating homes out there are filled with happy homeowners and how many are ones with rejoicing renters? Most importantly, who is happier of the two?

      Turns out both measure out the same. The rent-or-buy debate typically revolves around money, with the buy camp winning more often than not. It's hardly surprising that, even after the housing crash, most young Americans still aspire to own a home.

      But will it make them happy? Granted, it's tough to measure. Other variables shove their way into the merry mix.

      Nevertheless, social experts do take a pretty good stab at the question. Happiness matters. A lot. We don't mean bubbly happy, but adaptable, resilient, content, optimistic -- powerful factors for long-term health and success.

      Renters: There's no mortgage hanging over with the mistletoe

      Real estate is a good financial investment, if you hold onto it and the home's value grows. But for many people, the mortgage payment consumes so much of their income that the home becomes their only financial investment.

      Now everything, not just where you're going to live, hangs on making that payment. Don't forget the nest egg used to make the original down payment. There's more at stake with a mortgage payment. Whenever you have more at stake, it's obviously more stressful.

      Renters: Spared from foreclosures

      Even when times are OK, and finances aren't critical, the potential threat of losing everything someday to foreclosure can overshadow some of the positive feelings associated with owning. Research shows that the punch of anything negative is bigger than the pleasure of anything positive. This would suggest that the stress or worry associated with debt is more painful than the pleasure you get from owning.

      Renters: More Social Beings

      After controlling for income, health and housing quality, a 2004 survey found that homeowners spent 4% to 6% less time with friends and neighbors than did renters. Not only that, the homeowners also experienced more negative feelings when with other people. So far, experts studies reveal that contrary to the belief that homeownership fosters more involved or better family lives. It actually points to less active and less enjoyable social lives.

      Renters: Enjoying Flexibility and Mobility

      It's not infrequent that first-time homeowners have a sense of "feeling trapped" once they have settled in to their new home. The feeling or just being able to up and move from lease to lease disappears.

      A British economist famously found that countries with low levels of homeownership also enjoyed lower unemployment rates; workers were able to move to take the best jobs. When you consider what psychologists know -- that variety and new experiences are what make us happy -- it's little surprise that homeowners can, at times, find themselves envying the flexibility renters enjoy.

      It is, after all, only human to want to have varied experiences to sustain happiness.

      Homeowners: Wealth and Wisdom

      Are homeowners wealthier because they own a home? In many cases, yes. Homes offer a kind of forced savings strategy for middle- and low-income earners, who often have little cash left over after making the rent. But it's also easier for people with money to buy homes. The combination of the two puts homeowners well ahead statistically.

      Homeowners: They're healthier, if they're current on their payments

      There's a Harvard University research together with the Joint Center for Housing Studies that in 2001, they gave the win, by a nudge, to homeowners for better health. Although data from the study showed no positive connection between homeownership and health, researchers from the National Study of Family Health found that homeowners gave themselves better self-assessments for physical health.

      The researchers did, however, add this caveat: Homeowners' health was better only if they're current with their mortgage payments.

      Homeowners: They have higher self-esteem

      In what reviewers called one of the strongest studies on the topic, a whopping 85% of new homeowners said that their self-esteem improved after purchasing a home. Self-esteem is defined as a person's judgment of his own worthiness. Self-esteem usually gets a boost when someone accomplishes a goal, or senses he is doing better than other people. It is also strongly influenced by what other people think, and in America homeowners are held in higher regard.

      Still, the same study found no measurable difference in self-esteem between renters and homeowners when it was measured by researchers, who concluded that self-esteem may be too deeply ingrained a character trait to change much.

      Outcomes, however, do suggest that homeowners may already possess higher self-esteem. Research from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that among low-income families, the children of homeowners performed better in school and were more likely to graduate.

      Homeowners: More Involved in the Community

      Historically, research has landed on the side of homeowners being happier here.

      The sentiment -- long a selling point for real-estate agents-- has been that homeowners are more involved in civic and religious groups and are more likely to vote. However, as more people rent -- 35.4% of Americans today -- some studies that control for factors such as age, income and education level are revealing that ownership status alone may not dramatically affect a person's engagement level after all.

      So - who's the happier home? Neither edge out the other.

      While the prior happiness studies do control for income, it's important to remember the toll that financial stress can take.

      It may seem like a no-brainer that unaffordable mortgages negatively affect people's mental health, even when their monthly housing payments haven't risen. But here's a finding from years of happiness research that many don't know: The thrill of a new experience -- even buying a dream house with great views and marble countertops -- quickly wears off. People adapt, and even while they're happy with the house, their overall satisfaction with their lives stabilizes.

      So while it's true that homeownership can build wealth, and that wealthier people tend to be happier (until their basic needs are met, then the rates level off), being a renter also gives certain freedoms that homeownership can't. And regardless of if you're a homeowner or renter, the important thing is that you have a roof over your head and remember to be thankful for it.

      ¿Quién dijo fiesta?

      Dicen que las noches inolvidables son aquellas donde los buenos amigos están presentes. Es por ello que una noche que empieza bien son las que comienzan con una cenita donde podréis charlar con vuestros colegas antes de ir a bailar.

      En Newbury Street existen una amplia variedad de restaurantes que ofrecen una cocina completamente diferente dependiendo de los gustos de cada individuo. Podréis encontrar desde las típicas hamburguesas americanas, hasta con meticulosas delicatesen como son los productos que ofrece Snappy Shusi, un restaurante japonés

      situado en el número 108 de la calle Newbury. Si preferís la comida de otro continente os podrías declinar por un italiano, Papa Razzi, situado en el numero 159 de Newbury Street, es una buena opción para conocer la cocina europea ydegustar sus sabores más placenteros.

      Una vez que hayáis terminado de cenar podéis ir a tomar una copa a diferentes lugares que os dejarán muy buen sabor de boca. Algunos de estos sitios son: Strega Waterfron, además de ofrecer otros servicios como el de sala de baile, cuenta con unos cocktails estupendos dirigidos a aquellas personas que les guste experimentar sabores explosivos. Por otro lado, Haru es un lugar que se especializa tan sólo en el servicio de cocktelería e incluye una amplia lista con bebidas de este tipo; está situado justo debajo de Prudential Center. Cuchi Cuchi también se encuentra entre los lugares más demandados, este lujoso y glamuroso establecimiento trabaja duro para ofrecer sus mejores servicios y, por supuesto, bebidas.

      También están aquellas personas que prefieren algo más tranquilo y "precopear" en sus propios domicilios. En este caso la ciudad de Boston ofrece un exclusivo servicio llamado Party Bus. El "Autobús Fiesta" es utilizado para transportar a sus clientes desde sus domicilios u otros lugares de interés a la puerta de cualquier discoteca, pues como ya sabéis... ¡Si bebéis alcohol, no podéis conducir!  Además, el Party Bus es una diversión asegurada ya que es una discoteca dentro del propio autobús donde se puede bailar, beber y pasárselo bien mientras este os traslada allá donde vayáis.

      Y como no, una de las mejores opciones para acabar bien la noche es ir a una discoteca para pasarlo en grande y bailar hasta que los pies no den más de si. Boston cuenta con numerosos clubs para elegir, todos y cada uno de ellos están diseñados de una manera diferente y proporcionan una fiesta asegurada gracias a su buena música, su buen ambiente y el buen rato que os harán pasar. Aquí están algunas de las discotecas más reconocidas por los jóvenes: Royale 279 situado en Tremont Street, Cure Lounge en 246 Tremont St., Bijou Nightclub & Lounge que está en el 51 de Stuart St., Venu 100 en Warrenton St., y The Estate 1 en boylston place.





      South End's Twin Tower Proposal

      Up until recently, people who have been musing around the idea of living in the South End only had two choices: brownstones or converted units. However, like most neighborhoods in Boston nowadays, the district is experiencing a boom of developments, particularly ones that are brand new, giving a third option for those seeking solace in the hot Southern urban downtown tip of the city.

      Roughly more than a year ago, Ink Block's ambitious and transformative 8-building project launched and broke ground. This year, Sepia came into fruition and availability. The multiple-building project sits on the former Boston Herald Site, a few blocks away from Back bay, and just by I-93. Though the completion date of the entire project is still three to four years away, it seems that demand for brand new condominium housing in the area is highly lucrative (if one is to believe the rumors of Sepia being sold out this early are true).

      In response, comes another multiple-building project from Burlington, Mass-based Nordlblom Company. To be situated in the same vicinity as Ink Block, 345 Harrison St., Nordblom's proposal calls for the demolition of a two-story warehouse to make way for the 569,400 square feet project. Once completed, the condominium complex is proposed to have two structures - 13 and 14 stories tall, spread over the two acres of re-zoned land, with a total of 602 rental units (233, 360 units, respectively) alongside 33,500 square feet of ground floor, "18-hour" retail and restaurant space.

      Nordblom Company hopes to break ground and start construction in the second quarter of 2014, if approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

      South Boston's Slew of Residential Projects

      With the city bustling with building projects, you would think that most of the outlying neighborhoods would be a 'quiet place' to live in. Well, they are relatively quiet, especially in the evenings when construction is at a temporary halt. One of these neighborhoods that's just continually rising to the occasion is none other than nearby South Boston as two separate promising projects totaling to 89 new residential units were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority's Board late last week.

      One of the proposals is by  developer Bruce Daniel and his partners to convert the St. Augustine's Church at 225 Dorchester St. into residential units and demolish the St. Augustine's School at 205 E St. was approved by the board. Both the church, which was constructed in 1874, and the school have sat vacant for a number of years since they were closed by the local Diocese because of mounti ng financial pressures. The site, which sits on an approximately 23,400-square-foot lot, and the school, located on an approximately 25,600-square-foot lot, were purchased by the developers for an estimated $2.4 million.

      The $12.5-million proposal for the church calls for converting the structure into a residential building for 29 condominium units and 27 underground parking spaces. Four of the units will be affordable. Although the church will be preserved, dormers will be added to the structure to allow for more residential space.

      The $12-million proposal for the school calls for demolishing the existing structure and building a new three-story building to house 30 condominium units and 63 parking spaces, according to documents filed with the BRA. Four of the units will be affordable. Both projects are expected to break ground in 2014 and be completed by 2015, according to the BRA.

      A separate $8-million project at 11 Dorchester St. was also approved by the board Thursday. The project, proposed by Allure Boston, LLC, calls for the demolition of the existing commercial structure on the site and the construction of a five-story building for 30 condominium units and approximately 2,230-square-feet of ground floor retail space. The units will be divided between three studios, 17 one-bedroom units, and 10 two-bedroom units. Fifty-four parking spaces are included in the project and they will be housed in an at-grade and below-grade garage. The project is expected to break ground in early-2014 and construction is expected to be completed by mid-2015. The approximately 12,800-square-foot property is currently occupied by New England Auto Body.


      Speaking of South Boston, another area alongside the 'outskirts' of the city is gaining attention - and momentum in terms of its command on price. It's been reported that the growth in median single-family home and condo prices in the past nine months in Roxbury has far exceeded the rise in values across Suffolk County and across the state.  More specifically, the median single-family home price in Roxbury soared 32 percent to $335,000, more than double the rates of increase seen across Suffolk County and statewide.

      These figures also show the median condo price in Roxbury rising 13 percent to $510,000, easily outpacing median price growth across the city and the state, as homebuyers hunted for deals amid Roxbury's beautiful Victorian homes and tree-lined streets. Single-family home prices are now close to a pre-recession peak in Roxbury, an amazing recovery considering how many foreclosures took place there, and condo values in the neighborhood have reached a new high.

      The Greenway's Newest Gem

      There's a new darling in Downtown Boston, and it goes by the name of Radian. You might have heard of it before, just under a different name: 120 Kingston Street.

      That's officially the address of the 26-story apartment tower in the convenient junction of Chinatown, the Financial District, the North End, and the Leather District. It is a game-change-y type of development that replaced an ancient Boston archetype building. It is as modern as you can get nowadays, with all glass windows, and concrete and steel floors with chic and stylish finishings once fully complete. The tower's developers, Forest City and the Hudson Group, have officially christened the 120 Kingston development Radian Boston, as it is literally radiant from all view corners, as well as it mimics a 'radian', the angular measurement that's tied to a circle's radius. As you can see, the building is cleanly designed to reflect this style.Within the modern building's design are 240 luxurious studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. Radiant is aggressively taking in applications for move-in starting early Spring, 2014. In addition to its well-appointed units, future residents will be delighted to know that there's also 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The commercial slots are poised to host nuvo cuisine restaurants that match the ambiance of the area, as well as independent retailers and shops. What more could you want from an up and coming development?

      Speaking of The Greenway and the Northern tip of the city, The New York Times recently published an article saying how the word "north" affects property prices on real estate found marketed in this region of the country's leading urban cities. Why? Well, it turns out that people do go gaga for greenery. In New York, North of the city is synonymous to access not only to Central Park, but also to the two water pond features that span its green space. Though 'North' End Boston lacks the breadth and depth of Central Park (The Rose Kennedy Greenway is immensely minuscule compared to its New York counterpart), the area makes up for in 'aquatic features' - with waterfront harbor views plus panoramic city skyline sceneries.

      Find out how you can get early access and sneak a peek of Radian Boston by contacting us at (617)505-1781 or by emailing us info@bostonire.com.

      Bargain Buys From Relocation Sales

      relocation sale relo boston somerville back bay luxury high-endAlmost all homebuyers today are familiar with the ins & outs of traditional property sales as well as the "more contemporary" short sales instituted by banks to load off some of their foreclosed properties. However, only a few know of another type of sale that is often a good means to find bargain property buys: a relocation sale. Usually, these types of properties are listed on the market on a rush basis, for the sole reason that the resident is leaving it behind, and wants a quick cash get away.

      While there are slight differences in the the acquisition process for buying a property that's from a relocation sale, these can have distinct advantages for buyers.

      What is a "relo"? A relo is a home sale that is completed with the help of a relocation firm. These firms are hired by companies to help their transferred employees move. A relo firm might help the transferred employee hire movers and find a rental home. If the employee is a homeowner, the relo firm might help the employee sell the old home.

      Sales assistance is done in two stages. For the first few months the home is on the market, the house usually remains in the employee's name, with the relocation company providing advice on pricing and marketing. If the home isn't sold during that period, the employee's company may totally or partially buy out the property, freeing the employee to buy a home in the new location. After the employer buys the house, the relocation company becomes the chief party in sale negotiations. And once the company takes over, the buyer has a complete advantage because they're dealing with a seller who has no emotional attachment to the property, and would just like to earn back what they spent on acquiring it.

      Are these relo properties cheaper? While relocation sales don't necessarily translate into fire-sale prices, buyers can count on the home to be fairly priced for its market. Usually, companies who uproot and transplant their employees want to dispose of the property as soon as possible, making only what they spent to acquire the property and nothing more. This means that each and every home that's up for a relocation sale, is for a buyer's taking. Relocation properties also tend to be in good condition because most relocation firms recommend needed repairs or do the repairs themselves.

      How to buy a relo Buying a relo property isn't that different from any other traditional sale. However, buyers should prepare for a few new twists:

      Price negotiations may take longer. With normal home sales, the back-and-forth on pricing can last just a few hours as sellers and buyers hurriedly consult with their real-estate agents. But relocation firms typically operate during business hours and might not be available to respond to a weekend offer until Monday.

      Get pre-approved for financing. Buyers are always advised to line up their financing before they start looking for homes, but it's especially important when buying a relo property. Prospective buyers need to show that they are prepared and are in a good position to buy.

      Sell your old home first. If you need to sell your current home before buying another, you should take care of that before trying to buy a home being sold by a relocation firm. The relocation firms often want a nice, contingent-free, clean sale, if at all possible. If your current home is under contract with a buyer but has not closed yet, that's usually acceptable, but be prepared to provide copies of your sales contract and other important information on the expected closing date.

      Be prepared for more paperwork. Relo sales typically require buyers to sign additional riders and amendments to minimize the relocation company's liability. Usually, this translates to having double the number of pages in the contract, as well as exaggerated amounts of signatures.

      Whatever your preference of home is, relocation sales usually occur during months of high employee turnover, specifically right before winter until the weeks leading to Spring, as most businesses hire and transplant new talent in the first half of the year, coinciding with their fiscal calendar.

      In Boston, most of relocation sales happen in and around the outlying neighborhoods. More often than not, these include properties in and around Cambridge, Somerville, Seaport District, and Newton.

      One Bed or Two? A Must Read for Picky Property Hunters

      Does it make more investment sense to buy a one bedroom unit or a two bedroom unit?  There's too much data and too many variables for an absolute answer.  But it's a question that's posed a lot.

      Some investors focus on buying a unit with as many bedrooms and square footage as possible within their budget. They equate the 2nd bedroom - assuming it's a real 2nd bedroom - and a larger floor area with greater value. This is not always the case.

      Whatever the property's price range may be, here are a few things to consider:

      • Neighborhood, Street, Building, and Unit Placement Heavily Influence Value. This sounds obvious but if the focus is strictly on price and the number of bedrooms, this can get lost in the shuffle.  Buying a  two bedroom for $450K in a South Boston 2-family is obviously different from buying a one bed for $750K at One Charles in the Back Bay.  Buying a unit on lowerNewbury Street is different from buying on upper Commonwealth Ave. Understanding the neighborhood at the street/building/unit level based on trusted sales and rental data  is key.  Unit placement is also critical. i.e. the resale potential and rental value of a 5th floor walk-up two bed for 750K vs. a one bed in an elevator building for the same price.
      • Projected Return Levels During Hold.  A good understanding of this data and competitive rentalproduct is extremely important. Thankfully, a lot of rental data in Downtown Boston is transparent.  An investor can position an acquisition for positive cash flow and project returns based on the rent number.  The rents will generally be higher for the 2 beds, but then so generally are the acquisition and carrying costs which affect the return.
      • Liquidity - A sound investment purchase begins with the exit plan.  While all real estate is illiquid, some knowledge of historical sales trends and neighborhood inventory turnover can enable educated projections for re-sale.  At minimum, we want some evidence that in a reasonable time period and without discounting, we can sell the property at will.  Given a one bedroom vs. two bedroom with comparable finishes and quality, appropriately priced to market in the same neighborhood.....which unit is likely to be the fastest, most straightforward sale in 5-7 years?

      In the one bedroom corner: Generally lower price point, potentially larger pool of renters during the hold period, more buyers at the end of the hold period.  That means less vacancy time, and less time on market on the re-sell provided it's appropriately priced to market.

      In the two bedroom corner: Generally higher rent, and more versatile utility value.  Many serious buyers will only consider 2 beds because they just prefer that extra room...for an office, regular guests and family members passing through town (this comes up very frequently). Possible greater potential for appreciation based on the utility value.

      So... One or a two bed???  There are many other variables and no short answers, but as with other investment vehicles, whatever the number of bedrooms the purchase should align with an investor's goals and risk tolerance.

      How To Sell Your 'Unsellable' Home

      If your house isn't selling, don't despair -- try jazzing it up online.

      Inventory in the Metro Boston region is down ?62 percent from a year ago while prices are up 9 percent, so there's hope. But buyers are first turning to real estate websites before they head out the door. That's where your attention should be, at least at first.

      Let's look at the most common reasons why your home is still on the market:

      PRICE: This is by far the top reason why properties languish. Remember, pricing properties isn't an exact science. Some agents will overprice listings during the initial bidding process in hopes of winning the listing. Others will over-price simply due to ignorance. Regardless, the market will dictate your price. If your home isn't getting showings by other real estate agents and you've had no offers within the first 14 days, particularly in a hot market, then the price should be adjusted.

      PHOTOGRAPHY: I've said it before, first impressions are very important. The way your home is presented could be the difference between having market buzz or fizzling out. Prices vary, but typically $150 to $300 is enough to hire a professional photographer to set you up with a few good photos.

      CLUTTER: Get rid of those things that you've held onto for years. I've always gone by the belief that if you lost everything in a fire, what are the things you would truly miss? Then start with those items and work backward. Less is always more.

      MARKETING: Is your real estate agent promoting your property in the best light? This includes weekly print advertising, sphere of influence mailings, mailings to neighbors of the listed property, links to all national websites including realtor.com, trulia.com, zillow.com and others. Does your agent promote properties via social media?

      INSPECTIONAL ISSUES: Does your home have a number of issues to be fixed? A coat of new paint? A professional cleaning? Light bulbs that need replacing? While these are relatively easy fixes ranging in price to practically nothing to quite a bit, in the end they can make the difference between your home being a consideration vs. a "pass." If you really want to know what a home inspection will uncover, then hire an inspector of your own and have your property "pre-inspected." This might run you a few hundred dollars on the low end to $500 to $600 depending on the size of your home.

      It's all worth the trouble if you really want to make the next move.

      Third Quarter Condo Sales Continue Climb

      Boston's red-hot downtown condominium market continued to sizzle as strong buyer demand and tight inventory combined to boost prices by 7.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

      From July through September, 1,153 condos were sold in the dozen downtown neighborhoods from the Back Bay to the West End, up nearly 11 percent from the same period last year when 1,043 units traded hands. As volume swelled, so did prices; the median price of a downtown condo soared to $525,000, up from $487,500 a year ago.

      As most realtors know, it's still a seller's market out there. The city's inventory is off by 60 percent, interest rates -- despite the modest increase in the last month -- are still at historic lows, banks are getting a little more flexible on lower down payments and rents are rising. All these factors are driving people to buy.

      Nearly every neighborhood saw sales and prices rise in the third quarter. South Boston had the highest sales volume at 280, a 7.2 percent increase from a year ago while the median price reached $414,000, a 14.2 percent hike. The South End had the second-highest number of sales at 226 units, a 25.5 percent increase from a year ago as median prices increased by 6.2 percent to $598,750. The Back Bay followed with 178 units sold -- flat from a year ago -- as the median price rose to $737,500, a 31.2 percent increase.

      The most expensive section of the city is the Downtown Crossing area, where median prices rose to $983,500, up 5.1 percent from a year ago, while sales volume increased by 23.5 percent to 42 units. The Fenway saw 58 units sold, a 7.4 percent increase, and the median sale price increased to $358,750, making it the city's most affordable neighborhood.

      On Beacon Hill sales rose by 5.1 percent to 61 units, while the median sale price swelled to $554,000, a 6.8 percent hike. In Charlestown, sales were up by 26.8 percent to 151, and the price median reached $470,000, a 16 percent hike. Sales in the Leather District were flat, but the median price rose by 17.5 percent to $590,000. In the North End, sales were up by 50 percent to 45 units, but the pricing median fell by nearly 3 percent to $465,000.

      The Seaport District was one of two neighborhoods where volume slipped. The number of condos sold in Seaport fell by 39.1 percent to 28 units while the median price rose to $628,500, a 5.6 percent increase. On the Waterfront, sales were off by 5 percent to 56 units, and while the median price was nearly unchanged from a year ago at $706,500. The West End had 17 sales, up from 12 a year ago, while the median price was up by nearly 20 percent to $430,000.

      In Other News

      Ground has been broken for The Fallon Company's Seaport luxury glass menagerie condo complex. Located on the Waterfront - in the Fan Pier District, will sit the $3 Billion, 118-unit, 14-story development to be dubbed as Twenty Two Liberty. he start of the 14-story, Twenty Two Liberty is an endorsement of the district as not only a commercial area, but also a residential one that's not limited to transient apartment dwellers.

      The condos will range from 500 square foot studios, to 2,900 three bedroom penthouse 'suites', complete with sweeping views of the Boston skyline, the Mass Bay, as well as the pier walk fronting the development. Fallon and Company is known for their robust development in South Boston, where they have started the construction spurt and is slowly transitioning the conveniently located suburb to a legitimate extension of the city. Move in is expected by Fall 2015.