December 2, 2010
South End Condo’s sold – 71 Units
Average South End condo sales price – $679,165
Average South End condo list price – $699,446
Average List price per square foot – $656
Average days-on-market – 99.34
December 2, 2010
Back Bay Condo’s sold – 65 Units
Average Back Bay condo sales price – $1,234,990
Average Back Bay condo list price – $1,322,988
Average price per square foot – $931
Average days-on-market – 149.57
November 19, 2010
In case you didn’t see this, Massachusetts unemployment numbers were announced yesterday and guess what? They’ve dropped! To the lowest level since April of 2009!
According to the state’s Executive office of Labor & Workforce Development, the Massachusetts unemployment rate fell from 8.4% in September to 8.1% in October as the state added approximately 10,000 new jobs. It was the steepest monthly decline since 1976.
We have to feel good about this particularly since the Massachusetts unemployment rate remains well below the national unemployment rate of 9.6%.
The entire report from the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development which includes exactly which sectors are adding jobs can be seen here.
November 17, 2010
The Boston Redevelopment Authority gave approval last night to move forward on the 100 Arlington Street project, which will transform the current building into a multi-use rental/retail space in Bay Village. The project will include 128 residential rental units along with approximately 10, 250 square feet of retail space along Arlington and Stuart Street. There will be no significant changes made to the exterior of the existing building.
The development team includes The Congress Group, Inc. as the developer; Elkus/Manfredi Architects as project architect; Vanasse Hangen Brustlin as teh Article 80 permitting consultant and transportation planner/engineer; and DLA Piper US LLP as legal counsel. The total estimated cost of the project is $65 million. 130 construction jobs are projected to be created and work is expected to begin in the spring, 2011.
November 17, 2010
Taken from the Boston Herald:
“The city has closed the book on the former Filene’s project known as One Franklin, telling the New York developer that its approvals will not be extended.
In a letter today to Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust and local developer John Hynes, the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s director John Palmieri said the city is “tremendously disappointed with the lack of progress made on the project . . . we have heard from the public who overwhelmingly felt that your disregard for the economic health of Downtown Crossing had a negative impact on the area.”
Hynes could not be immediately reached for comment.
November 16, 2010
December 1 is the date for the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation’s hearing for a proposal that’s been drawn up by a Beacon Hill parents’ group to build a privately financed playground to the tune of $1.5 million to be located near the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.
The parents’ group, also known as the Friends of Esplanade Playspace, claims that the current playgrounds around the river are geared more for children under the age of 5, and the large amount of neighborhood grade-school aged children need something more suited to their age, the Boston Globe reported this morning.
The plan calls for a 10,000 square foot space that will be designed for children ages 5 to 12, featuring climbing “rocks”, nets, a jungle gym, slides and swings. The location is slated to be riverside very near to the Esplanade Cafe, and not far from the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge that crosses Storrow Drive.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns and maintains the Esplanade, is backing the project as is Mayor Thomas M Menino. The hope is that it’s completed by the Summer of 2011.
November 15, 2010
Here are the latest MLS statistics for condominiums on Beacon Hill and in the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods of Boston as of 11/15/10.
- 75 condominiums have sold on Beacon Hill
- Average Days on Market – 98.75
- Average List Price per Sq. Ft. – $743
- Average Sale Price $639,895
- Condo’s Under Agreement in the past six months – 16
- 239 condominiums have sold in the Back Bay
- Average Days on Market – 120.22
- Average List Price per Sq. Ft. – $869
- Average Sale Price $1,058,759
- Condo’s Under Agreement in the past six months – 59
- 297 condominiums have sold in the Back Bay
- Average Days on Market – 85.23
- Average List Price per Sq. Ft. – $626
- Average Sale Price $644,069
- Condo’s Under Agreement in the past six months – 51
November 15, 2010
1) Know the market place – I have never been of the belief that a real estate agent necessarily has to live in the neighborhood that they are listing a property. There is so much information available on the Internet from sales history, neighborhood data, local demographics, school information, local government statistics, etc. that if an agent is reasonably intelligent they can put together a strong marketing package for any property.
2) Use a professional photographer for listing photos – I am constantly amazed when I see listing agents post dark, poorly displayed photographic images on the Internet when marketing their listing properties. And this shouldn’t matter whether it’s a million dollar listing or one for $300,000.
This first image is an example of the type of marketing photography an agent consistently uses when marketing properties at the Four Seasons in Boston, MA. The amount of money this agent will take home in the form of commission on this transaction will most likely be over $18,000. According to the 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers, 89% of all home buyers surfed the Internet in conducting their home buying search. Yet this seller is willing to allow this type of photo portray their property.
A professional photographer typically charges about $150 to take digital photos that are professionally balanced for lighting and effects to properly portray your home and put it in the best light for those 89% of home buyers.
This next image, you see to the right was one I had a photographer take. You can clearly see the difference. Why do sellers constantly overlook this point!
3) Work with a brokerage firm that has a strong online presence. If 89% of all buyers are searching for properties on the Internet, wouldn’t you want to work with a real estate brokerage that has a strong Internet presence? It’s crucial that your property is displayed on the Internet and getting the most “touches” via the web as possible. Just being on the MLS system is just one part of the equation. In this day and age, SEO or search engine optimization is what counts. If your property is listed with a company, how is that site attracting visitors to see the online content they are promoting? It’s no longer the type of marketplace where you can post a property and expect buyers to come to you. You want to list your property on a website that attracts buyers to your property. The following chart was taken from the website Compete.com. The purpose of this site is to analyze your competition and make your web presence stronger. I compared William Raveis Real Estate to Coldwell Banker’s New Engand Moves and finally Hammond Residential Real Estate. You’ll notice that it’s pretty clear who the industry leader is in Boston:
#4) Utilize Social Media! According to Facebook’s own statistics, there are:
- More than 500 million active users
- 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
According to a study conducted this past April, 2010, here are some pretty heavy Twitter statistics:
Here’s a summary of the facts and figures Twitter shared:
- Twitter now has 105,779,710 registered users.
- New users are signing up at the rate of 300,000 per day.
- 180 million unique visitors come to the site every month.
- 75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside Twitter.com (i.e. via third party applications.)
- Twitter gets a total of 3 billion requests a day via its API.
- Twitter users are, in total, tweeting an average of 55 million tweets a day.
- Twitter’s search engine receives around 600 million search queries per day.
If your agent isn’t using social media to promote your property, they are living in ancient times.
#5) Communication! You should have regular communication with your realtor. How many weekly showings have you had on your property. What is the feedback? How does your property stack up to comparable properties in the market place? Where is the property being marketed?
I use a weekly recap report to send to all of my clients to keep them up to date as to what’s happening.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to leave your comments below or to contact me to discuss your property in the Boston marketplace.
November 11, 2010
Going through your closets or your garage and finding things you want to throw out? Well, consider the environment before you toss that battery in the garbage, or pour that can of paint down the drain. But how do you get rid of these items?
It’s worth the extra bit of effort to learn how to dispose of these toxic items not only for your health but the environment’s as well. Many of the household items you might come across contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate the environment or cause other damage if not disposed of properly.
The laws for disposing household waste can vary from state to state so check your local government guidelines but here are some general rules and resources:
1. Batteries – Rechargeable batteries are fairly easy to recycle. A lucky thing because throwing out lead-acid batteries is illegal in 41 states, according to Trey Granger at Earth911. Home Depot, Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy, and many other retailers take them back free of charge.
Single-use batteries are more difficult but sometimes your local library will bins for these. Check with your local government for the nearest drop-off point for hazardous waste. In Boston, you can check here.
2. Electronics – Pretty much every retailer that will take back batteries will also take back mobile phones, as do most wireless providers. I’ve sometimes seen bins for cell phones at Whole Foods as well. For computers, camera, televisions, and other similar items do a bit of research as some stores will charge fees depending on the item and brand.
3. Paint – This is probably the most common item to recycle and the most difficult to dispose of. Consider giving this away to any friend who may need paint for a project or donating it to charities such as Habitat for Humanity or your local school theatre group.
If you can’t do this, you may need to just throw away your dried paint in the garbage if local laws allow this. If it’s latex paint remove the lid to let the paint dry out. Any oil-based paints need to be disposed of through your local hazardous waste center.
4. CFL’s – Compact fluorescent lamp or compact fluorescent light contain minute amounts of mercury that can leach out if broken, so it’s very important to dispose of these properly. Luckily it’s pretty easy to recycle these items. Home Depot for example has a CFL recycling program. If you have no way of getting rid of these items other than throwing them away, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests sealing CFL’s in two plastic bags before disposing.
5. Medications – Don’t just flush these drugs down your drain as this will just put the chemicals directly into your local water systems. There are programs that will take back unused medications. Check with your local government for more on this.
6. Cooking Oil – Find an aluminum can to pour that bacon grease into and then stick it in the freezer before tossing it in the garbage. Pouring grease down your drain will clog up your pipes and ultimately back up the sewer systems. Rinsing your drain with hot water won’t help. Once the grease goes down the drain it solidifies and sticks to the pipes.
7. Aerosol cans – Empty aerosol cans can be disposed through your local curbside program or at your local recycling facility. Partially full cans are a bit more difficult but again, check with your local recycling facility. Simply throwing out pressurized cans is never a good thing as they run the risk of exploding once they get to a landfill and potentially injuring someone or starting a fire.
8. Appliances – Most large appliance retailers will take away your old appliances when you purchase a new one from them. In addition many municipalities will offer a curbside pick-up option though you should check with them directly. Smaller items like toaster ovens, etc. can easily be donated to your local charity.
9. Packing materials – Most UPS facilities and Mail Boxes Etc locations will take your packing peanuts and bubble wrap if they’re in new condition. If you can’t store these items for future use try this option. You can also try Craigslist to see if anyone is in need of these items.
10. Car “stuff” – Wal-Mart, Autozone, JiffyLube are just a few retailers who will recycle used motor oil. Check to see if they will recycle your used oil filters as well. Car batteries are usually recycled at a location such as a car dealership or garage if you buy a new one from them.
November 1, 2010
Back Bay Condo Sales from January 1st, 2010 – November 1st, 2010
Back Bay Condo Sales 2010 – 351 Units Avg. List Price $1,275,195 Avg. Sale Price $1,198,810 (94%) $944/Sq.Ft.
Back Bay Condo Sales 2009 – 277 Units Avg. List Price $1,024,419 Avg. Sale Price $957,107 (93%) $861/Sq.Ft.
Beacon Hill Condo Sales from January 1st, 2010 – November 1st, 2010
Beacon Hill Condo Sales 2010 – 109 Units Avg. List Price $757,423 Avg. Sale Price $720,981 (95%) $789/Sq.Ft.
Beacon Hill Condo Sales 2009 – 120 Units Avg. List Price $732,306 Avg. Sale Price $697,654 (95%) $821/Sq.Ft.
South End Condo Sales from January 1st, 2010 – November 1st, 2010
South End Condo Sales 2010 – 426 Units Avg. List Price $648,822 Avg. Sale Price $630,305 (97%) $618/Sq.Ft.
South End Condo Sales 2009 – 375 Units Avg. List Price $674,630 Avg. Sale Price $652,380 (96%) $612/Sq.Ft.