28 December
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2016 – What’s coming? | By Jeff Hamilton

In late 2016, Millennium Tower will open to residents ready to occupy 442 condo units spanning 60 vertical floors on Franklin Street in the midst of Downtown Crossing. This date will mark a new era in Boston luxury real estate when Downtown Crossing (aka Midtown) can no longer be ignored as an expanded center of work, live and play for Boston’s well to do. At COG, we expect the Downtown market to demonstrate the greatest opportunity for appreciation over the next four years among the central neighborhoods we watch. If you haven’t considered it, take a look now so you can be among those saying “remember when” in five years.

In other high rise news, the Four Seasons mixed use development will start to reshape the Back Bay skyline in mid to late 2016. Taking over for Millennium Tower as the tallest residential building in Boston in late 2017, it will be the second Four Seasons Hotel in Boston – one of about ten cities in the world to have two Four Seasons. Whispers of condo pricing in the $3,000 to $4,000 per square foot range are currently making the rounds among brokers. Those numbers will likely be validated in 2016 as sales heat up in Back Bay’s most exciting project since the Clarendon emerged in 2010. Remember, the Mandarin currently has the per square foot record in the city with a $3,880 per square foot sale in 2015.

Let’s not forget the traditional brownstone stock either. Preferred by many over the less “homey” high rises, it is no longer uncommon to see prices approaching $2,000 per square foot for best in class condos on Comm Ave, Marlborough St and their cross streets (A to H). Impressive smart home and design trends can make a 125 year old brownstone feel like the most contemporary master development. One interesting trend: younger shoppers are less intrigued by the proximity to the river that Beacon Street offers as they’ve identified the lack of services and transportation between Berkeley and Hereford Streets as an inconvenience that’s not worth paying for.

We expect the market to continue upward in value although not at the same pace we have seen over the last five years in Boston. If you’re considering a purchase in 2016, it’s important to consider your time horizon and liquidity needs over the next three years before moving forward. We’re always happy to help you think through that consideration.