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Old 11-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
whighlander
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Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

I didn't realize how scare they were!

This is a real problem which needs immediate attention:

Large condos scarce in Hub
Boston Herald business pages
By Jennifer Athas
Friday, November 18, 2011 - Updated 18 hours ago
http://bostonherald.com/business/rea...&position=also


Homebuyers searching in Boston for larger condominiums are having a difficult time finding what they want.

Anne Marie Costa and her husband want to stay in the city: “We discussed the idea of moving to the suburbs, but with our current work schedules, we didn’t want to add the additional commuting time to our day.”

“Right now in our price range of $800,000 plus, there are only four condominiums available in the city of Boston that have at least three bedrooms and are a minimum of 1,800 square feet.”

Larger, “affordable” condominiums in the city are scarce.

According to MLS PIN, there are only 71 Hub properties on the market for under $1 million that are 1,800 square feet or larger and only 51 of these properties have three bedrooms or more.

Located in the Port Norfolk neighborhood is another similarly sized development that local developer Mike McGough is building.

Ground will break next week on Philip Street, located near the Neponset River in Dorchester. There will be two attached townhouse-style condos, each 1,800 square feet, with three bedrooms, two baths and one parking space.

McGough said these townhouse condos will be priced in the mid-$300,000s and ready for the spring market. “These condominium townhouses work well for the police or fireman who want the extra living space and needs to live in the city,” he said.

Last edited by whighlander; 11-18-2011 at 06:33 PM. Reason: improved clarity and readability
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

Blame slumlords buying large places to rent to college students and subsidized housing agencies buying places to rent to multi-generational welfare families, for semi-permanently occupying all available family housing relatively close to downtown. Add in a school district actively trying to get rid of children and the non-luxury market factors for developing family housing get pushed even further by the wayside.

I'd also blame the average person for needing bloated square footage these days to consider a unit acceptable. What could have been a two a three bedroom unit at the dawn of the 20th century is now considered only acceptable for a large studio or small one bedroom these days.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:48 PM   #3
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

Well, that's kind of a rant ^

Anyway, opportune timing for her blog post. I was just thinking of this yesterday following the BRA meeting on the four apartment projects approved for construction. As far as I know, none - NONE of the four buildings will have ANY three bedroom units.

For condos sold in the city, of the 500 random sales I pulled off MLS for the past 8 years with three bedrooms or more, the average price per square foot was $900 and the average price sold was $2.26 million.

So, there is housing available for 'families' downtown, but you have to be wealthy. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Developers don't build them because the market is limited, I don't think the other way around.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:03 AM   #4
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

I would imagine that this plays into the notion that cities are still for the young (as in just out of college) and the retired; a place to play. Developers, who by the way usually build with other people's money, build what they think they can make money on. It is a huge risk to build apartments for families unless you area building for the 1%.

What I think we are going to see more of in the next decade are these kids growing up and wanting to stay in cities. What will probably end up happening is that many of these buildings that are full of studios and 1 beds will start to combine units to fill the need. After all many of 1 bed and studio apartments in older buildings were cut out of much larger units built back when families did live in apartments.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

My first two points have more to do with stagnation of the availability of existing family housing.

The lack of new family housing has very much to do with the schools issue and the perception of square footage.

Developers know it isn't desirable for middle class families to send their kids to schools in the city, those are typically the people fleeing to the suburbs, so there isn't that much of a market.

On the other side of that is the space issue. What's more valuable to market and sell, when all the units in question have the same total square footage; a unit with one or two two larger bedrooms partitioned, or a unit of three much smaller bedrooms partitioned?
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post

So, there is housing available for 'families' downtown, but you have to be wealthy. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Developers don't build them because the market is limited, I don't think the other way around.
John -- the family friendly housing doesn't have to be downtown

Boston has one of the highest percentages of people who commute by walking

Take a radius of 1 mi from the SPID, Fin Dist, DTX, Back Bay and you could have a lot of potential for developing family housing

The key is of course the schools --- they still are screwed by the Teachers Union and Busing (versus local schools)

Fixhe schools and the middleclass will want to repopulate Boston as the most active growth in metro jobs is now moving back inside Rt-128
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Re: Large reasonable priced Family sized condos scarce in Hub

I can totally understand the logic behind not building any three-bedroom+ units in condo projects except for at the high high-end. There's limited demand.

I would love to have at least a couple built into every new apartment building, though. There just aren't any. You can find a couple rentals in condo buildings but at prices like $15,000-25,000. I've had clients looking up to $8,500 (well, like two over ten years) who just couldn't find anything anywhere in downtown. The Lofts at Atlantic Wharf, for example, are up to $8,500 but don't have 3 real bedrooms. Park Lane Seaport tops out at about 1,100 square feet of space with 2-beds, 2-baths, and none of the Archstones go up to 1,500+ square feet.
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