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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.

Back Bay, Boston. Landmarked Neighborhood

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