Wednesday
Mar052014

Beige Book Report - March 5, 2014

Board of Govenors Federal Reserve System

First District--Boston

Residential Real Estate
The First District experienced mixed results for sales of single family houses and condominiums in December. Contacts in New Hampshire and Rhode Island cite declines in sales of single family homes, while Massachusetts experienced no change, and respondents in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont cite increases in sales relative to December 2012. Scarce inventory is said to be the most significant constraint on the growth of sales, while uncertainty from new qualified mortgage rules and flood insurance reforms are also believed to be causing buyers to remain cautious about making offers. Contacts in Connecticut say that sales are being affected by weak consumer confidence and a shortage of stable employment opportunities. Median sale prices increased year-over-year in four of the six New England states, decreasing only in Connecticut and Vermont. In Massachusetts, particularly in the Greater Boston area, price appreciation driven by low inventory levels has become a concern as realtors caution that high prices could keep first time home buyers out of the market.

Pending sales suggest the market for single family houses and condos is off to a good start in 2014, increasing in all states except Rhode Island. Contacts express optimism about local housing markets looking forward but say they expect the snowy winter to depress sales in the near term.

Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate activity was mixed across the First District, but contacts report that leasing fundamentals were largely stable in recent weeks. In Providence, demand for multifamily housing remains strong downtown, while industrial leasing activity is still weak. In Boston, office demand continues to be uneven within the city, with strength in the Seaport District, increasing demand in some suburban areas, and comparative weakness--including downward pressure on rents--in the Financial District. In Boston and Hartford, severe winter weather modestly reduced office leasing inquiries. Also, according to one contact, investment sales activity slowed in the region in the aftermath of a year-end surge in transactions. At the same time, contacts indicate that investment demand for commercial real estate remains strong across the region, and especially strong in Boston. A Portland contact characterizes leasing activity as solid and notes that land sales continue to gather momentum. Planned developments in Portland include a diverse mix of structures: recreational facilities, hotels, office space, and specialty retail. According to a regional banking contact, the bank lending environment for commercial real estate remains highly competitive, with solid loan demand across numerous sectors, albeit including fewer condominium development loans than had been expected. Recent trends in construction activity persist, with slow growth in the institutional sector, a declining pipeline of multifamily structures, and an increase in planned mixed-use developments and speculative office construction in parts of Boston.

While contacts are mostly optimistic concerning the outlook for commercial real estate in their respective markets, some downside risks are noted, including renewed macroeconomic uncertainty stemming from recent, weaker-than-expected employment reports, an uncertain future path of interest rates, and fallout from unrest in the Ukraine, Syria, and Venezuela. Other factors seen as restraining growth include rising construction and maintenance costs, and, in Rhode Island, political stagnation stemming from the current gubernatorial election.

Sunday
Feb022014

Punxsutawney Phil slows the real estate market with weather prediction.

WSJ.com

Snow, snow & more snow is not a friend of the real estate market. Seller's tend to hold off for better weather while buyers wait for that property to enter the market.  Thanks Phil!
(You still are very cute!)

Wednesday
Jan152014

Beige Book - January 15, 2014

Board of Govenors Federal REserve System:

First District--Boston

Residential Real Estate
Residential real estate markets in three New England states followed national trends, as October or November sales of single family homes and condominiums came in below year-earlier levels in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut; meanwhile home sales increased year-over-year in Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As happened nationwide, the median sales price for single family homes rose in four of the six states. After many consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases, regional contacts attribute the recent sales declines to lower consumer confidence as a result of the most recent government shutdown, to a shift in sales toward earlier quarters due to lower interest rates at the time, and to a lack of inventory. One source notes, "[the market] lost a little steam in Q3 and continued at a slower pace in Q4." A Massachusetts contact says limited inventory is constraining the market, as the available months of supply for single family homes and condominiums were 4.3 and 2.8 months respectively in November. "New listings are up, but we have been burning through inventory," reports a source in Massachusetts. Despite the recent decline in unit sales, New England realtors agree that 2013 has been a good year overall and they remain optimistic about sales increases looking forward.

Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate leasing activity in the First District held roughly steady on average in December, while investment sales activity and construction remained robust or strengthened significantly, according to contacts from across the region. In the Boston area, the Seaport District maintained a steady, "impressive" leasing pace, and office leasing activity picked up in some suburban areas. In Boston's Financial District, however, the vacancy rate remains in the mid-teens, allowing modest rent increases that are, according to one contact, probably only large enough to cover rising costs. Investment sales activity saw a year-end burst of activity in Boston, with strong contributions from foreign investors, pushing capitalization rates and loan spreads to historically low levels and reigniting concerns that prices are too high relative to reasonable expectations of rent growth. In Rhode Island, commercial leasing inquiries picked up modestly in December, but new tenants are still scarce. Investment sales activity in the state remains brisk and new developments--driven by the education sector--are slated for downtown Providence. In Connecticut, investment sales activity remained strong in December and, while leasing activity held roughly steady, contacts say some large, vacant tracts of office space in greater Hartford may be effectively obsolete and unlettable.

Concerning construction activity, the pipeline of planned multifamily properties in greater Boston continued to dwindle, consistent with the perception among some contacts that the large number of unit's currently awaiting delivery may produce a glut. At the same time, planned construction in the education, health care, and life sciences sectors increased significantly in recent months, and the number of retail projects under construction in greater Boston appears to be rising, according to contacts. A regional lender closed a higher volume of commercial real estate loans in 2013 than in 2012, despite facing brisk competition and steady, intense pressure on interest rate spreads. The outlook among contacts for 2014 is generally optimistic. As reasons for optimism, one contact perceives that recent developments in Washington have reduced economic uncertainty, while some others say that macroeconomic "momentum" is on the rise. Downside risks include the upcoming costs to businesses of compliance with the ACA and the trend toward office downsizing on a space-per-person basis.

Saturday
Oct192013

Tim Marsh sells a rare double-wide condominium at Lewis Wharf on Boston's Waterfront.

Postcard views of the Boston Harbor from this rare two bedroom double-wide condominium at Lewis Wharf on Boston's historic Waterfront.  Features:  Split-bedroom floor plan.  Fireplaced living room and den.  Open cook's kitchen with lovely dining area.  Separate office.  Sumptuous master bedroom suite with marble bath.  Second bedroom with adjacent full bath.  Private terrace with Harbor views.  24/7 concierge building.   

 List Price:  $1,295,000


 

Tim Marsh

timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

(C)  617-548-7145

Thursday
Oct172013

Cheryl Marsh sells 407 Beacon Street Townhouse

Offered @ $4,850,000

2 Full Deeded Parking

Exquisite, single family residence impeccably renovated with 6+ bedrooms, 3 full baths and 2 powder rooms, floor to ceiling windows, six marble fireplaces,gracious principal rooms with 12ft ceilings & original period detail. Au pair/in law suite with renovated kitchen, media room w/ 3 glass doors leading out to a large enclosed brick patio w/ shed, electricity and lights.Central A/C.Direct access to 2 full deeded parking spaces


Cheryl Marsh
cheryl@BostonLuxuryRealEstate.com
c: (617) 797-5781

Wednesday
Oct162013

Beige Book Report October 16th

 

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

First District Boston

Residential Real Estate
Residential real estate contacts in the First District say markets continue to strengthen and they are "cautiously optimistic" about the outlook. According to a source in New Hampshire, realtors are no longer talking about returning to a "non-recession" market, but rather stating that market conditions have returned to normal. August saw sales of single-family homes and condominiums continuing to increase across the region compared to August 2012. Market participants, however, are watching interest rates closely. Where current market activity is largely driven by first time home buyers--such as in Maine and Connecticut--higher interest rates could slow sales. In other states, rising interest rates may be temporarily spurring activity as buyers attempt to lock in lower rates. With the exception of one state which saw condo prices fall, median prices for single-family homes and condominiums rose in August relative to last year. Inventory trends vary across the states, with Massachusetts seeing inventory for single-family homes and condos low compared to historic norms--making it a sellers' market--while inventory in Maine increased in August compared to a year ago and New Hampshire sources indicate there "appears to be more balance between buyers and sellers."

While First District realtors say that this has been a turnaround year, they fear economic shocks could still stall the recovery. In addition, respondents express concern about negative effects on housing markets of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012; they say that lack of affordable flood insurance may cause values to fall and buyer delays in newly redrawn flood zones.

Commercial Real Estate
Reports from First District contacts describe the region's commercial real estate markets as either stable or strengthening. A Boston contact cites improvement in leasing fundamentals in recent weeks across diverse sectors--including office and assisted living facilities--while investment sales demand is up from an already-strong pace. Redevelopment activity picked up in Boston's retail sector, with plans for filling and retooling vacant space in both urban and suburban locations. Another Boston contact says office leasing activity is roughly unchanged since the last report, with strong demand in the Seaport and Kendall Square areas and comparatively weak demand for locations in the Financial District. Build-to-suit office construction continues in prime neighborhoods but otherwise office construction is negligible in metro Boston. A Portland contact notes significant improvements in leasing fundamentals and investment demand in recent months. In Hartford, the sale of two large office building in recent months has resulted in a significant decline in the office vacancy rate for class A space, from upwards of 25 percent to roughly 17 percent, a decline that should lead to some firming of rents after a long period of stagnation. Also in Hartford, investor demand for prime office and multifamily properties stayed strong. A Providence contact is mostly upbeat, citing a modest uptick in leasing activity in recent weeks and some positive absorption of downtown office space. While leasing volume increased across the region, contacts note that most leasing deals consist of renewals-in-place or relocations of existing firms, with little to no net expansion of firms' footprints.

In Boston, local conditions lead contacts to expect more slow-to-modest growth in the commercial real estate sector moving forward, but national economic and political conditions lend uncertainty and downside risks to the outlook. In both Rhode Island and Connecticut, contacts are cautiously optimistic that commercial leasing fundamentals will continue to improve, but note that their respective states face persistent challenges to economic growth, leaving their overall prospects weaker than the U.S. average. A Portland contact is mostly optimistic that southern Maine will continue to see modest growth in leasing fundamentals, but expects investment sales to slow with rising interest rates.

Monday
Jul012013

Tim Marsh sells 98 Mt. Vernon St. on Beacon Hill in Boston!

This gorgeous single family home on Beacon Hill is sold!

Offered @ $4,600,000 including one garage space.

This quintessential home features Classic detail, seven fireplaces, bay windows and soaring ceilings.  A rare elevator provides access to every floor.  Double parlor with dualing fireplaces.  Granite and stainless steel kitchen. Up to five bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths.  Coveted "hidden garden" and a private roof deck with panoramic views of the Charles River, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and downtown Boston.  A+ South Slope location, steps from Louisburg Square.

 

 

Tim Marsh
TimMarsh@BostonLuxuryRealEstate.com
c: (617) 548-7145

Sunday
Jun302013

Realty Check

CNBC.com   Home Buyers: Beware Rate Rise
A majority of new homes sold could be at risk because of rising mortgage rates, reports CNBC's Diana Olick.
Monday
Jun242013

New price at 330 Beacon St. #63/64 in the Back Bay of Boston

ALERT:  This trophy doorman property has just been reduced $520,000 down to $4,475,000.

Highlights: 3,737 Square Feet of Living Space. 54 ft. of picture window views plus two balconies all overlooking the Charles River.  Two garage spaces, elevator access, concierge, professional management and resident superintendent.

This property has never been offered for sale and is a product of a three year renovation combining two adjacent units.

The building is located on waterside Beacon at the corner of Fairfield Street in the Back Bay.  It offers easy access to the Charles River and Esplanade, Newbury Street and the Back Bay business district.  

Designed and decorated by William Hodgins; unique mural by famed muralist Robert Jackson.

Enjoy front row seats to watch the Fourth of July Fireworks!


For more information contact

Tim Marsh at 617-548-7145 or

timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

 

Saturday
Jun222013

Open House tomorrow, June 23rd, at 407 Beacon St. in the Back Bay

Join us tomorrrow, Sunday June 23rd, from 1-3 at our open house. 

Priced at $4,850,000, this quintessential Back Bay single family home offers all the right touches!

The building is located near the corner of Gloucester Street in the Back Bay.  Easy access to the Charles River and Esplanade, Newbury Street and the Back Bay business district.  

This property has been meticulously renovated and maintained.  Featuring 5,391 square feet of living space, highlights include 12 ft. ceilings, six fireplaces, rare butlers pantry, media room, up to seven bedrooms, three full baths and two powder rooms.  A beautiful garden leads to two full parking spaces.

Simply breathtaking!  Don't miss it! 

Monday
Jun172013

Layouts we love: Four Seasons Boston

Layouts we Love:  Comparing 1200 Square Foot Layouts Around the World.

Four Seasons Place - Boston

Hotelhomes.com recently published an article featuring the Four Seasons in Boston along with Tim Marsh.  The article takes a look at four different 1200 SF homes in hotel-residential properties around the world.

Click on the link below to read the full article.

http://hotelhomes.com/news/?p=977



 

 

Monday
Jun172013

Battery Wharf and Marina tops International list

Battery Wharf and Tim Marsh were recently featured in an article by Hotelhomes.com. Click the following link to read the full article.  

http://hotelhomes.com/news/?p=782#sthash.33JdapcQ

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun012013

Open House tomorrow, June 2nd, at 407 Beacon St. in the Back Bay

Join us tomorrrow, Sunday June 2nd, from 12-1:30 at our open house. 

Priced at $4,850,000, this quintessential Back Bay single family home offers all the right touches!

The building is located near the corner of Gloucester Street in the Back Bay.  Easy access to the Charles River and Esplanade, Newbury Street and the Back Bay business district.  

This property has been meticulously renovated and maintained.  Featuring 5,391 square feet of living space, highlights include 12 ft. ceilings, six fireplaces, rare butlers pantry, media room, up to seven bedrooms, three full baths and two powder rooms.  A beautiful garden leads to two full parking spaces.

Simply breathtaking!  Don't miss it! 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information contact Cheryl Marsh at 617-797-5781 or timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

 

Saturday
Jun012013

Open House tomorrow, June 2nd, at 330 Beacon St. in the Back Bay

Join us tomorrrow, Sunday June 2nd, from 2-3:30 at our open house. 

Recently reduced to $4,995,000, this residence offers 3,737 Square Feet of Living Space.

The building is located on waterside Beacon at the corner of Fairfield Street in the Back Bay.  Easy access to the Charles River and Esplanade, Newbury Street and the Back Bay business district.  

This property has never been offered for sale.  A combination of two units, this luxury doorman condominium offers 54 ft. of picture window views of the Charles River; from the dramatic living room and dining room, kitchen and two private balconies overlooking the Charles.  Enjoy front row seats to watch the Fourth of July Fireworks!


Up to five bedrooms,  three full baths and one powder room.  

Designed and decorated by William Hodgins; unique mural by famed muralist Robert Jackson.

Elevator access. Concierge, on-site mgmt. and resident superintendent.  Central air.  Two garage parking spaces.

 

For more information contact Tim Marsh at 617-548-7145 or timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

 

Thursday
Apr252013

What $1 Million Buys You

CNBC's Diana Olick and Jackie DeAngelis tour two $1 million homes in mystery locations; while super real estate broker Dolly Lenz, discusses which is a better value.

 

Thursday
Apr252013

1st Open House at the new price at 330 Beacon Street in the Back Bay

330 Beacon #63 has been reduced by $505,000 from $5,500,000 to $4,995,000

Join us this Sunday April 28th from 1:30-3 at the 1st public open house at the new price. 

The building is located on waterside Beacon at the corner of Fairfield Street in the Back Bay.  Easy access to the Charles River and Esplanade, Newbury Street and the Back Bay business district.

This property has never been offered for sale.  A combination of two units, this luxury doorman condominium offers 54 ft. of picture window views of the Charles River; from the dramatic living room and dining room, kitchen and two private balconies overlooking the Charles.  Up to five bedrooms,  three full baths and one powder room.  

Designed and decorated by William Hodgins; unique mural by famed muralist Robert Jackson.

Elevator access. Concierge, on-site mgmt. and resident superintendent.  Central air.  Two garage parking spaces.

 

For more information contact Tim Marsh at 617-548-7145 or timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

 

Thursday
Apr252013

1st Public Open House at 98 Mt. Vernon at the New Price!


This gorgeous single family home on Beacon Hill has a new price!

This Sunday, April 28th, we are hosting our 1st  open house at the new price

from 11:30 - 1.  

Old price: $4.7M without parking.

New Price:  $4.6M including one garage space ($300K value).  Total price reduction:  $400K 

This quintessential home features Classic detail, seven fireplaces, bay windows and soaring ceilings.  A rare elevator provides access to every floor.  Double parlor with dualing fireplaces.  Granite and stainless steel kitchen. Up to five bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths.  Coveted "hidden garden" and a private roof deck with panoramic views of the Charles River, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and downtown Boston.  A+ South Slope location, steps from Louisburg Square.

NOTES:  Seller has a second garage space available for sale.  Seller will also sell the house with no parking.  Recent sales of similar garage spaces have closed at $300K.Contact Tim Marsh, exclusive listing Broker, for a private viewing or more information.  

(C) 617-548-7145       email: timmarsh@bostonluxuryrealestate.com

 

Tuesday
Apr232013

Bay State home sales fall for second consecutive month as prices rise

Tim Marsh Owner/Broker

 

BBJ.com.  Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts dipped again in March as falling inventories leaves few options for potential buyers, according to data from The Warren Group and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

Single-family home sales dropped 3.6 percent to 3,100 in March, down from 3,215 in March 2012. Condominium sales decreased more than 2 percent to 1,211 from 1,240 in March 2012.

“A good supply of homes for sale is the only thing we’re missing from a sustainable housing recovery,” said Kimberly Allard-Moccia, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, in a statement. “While an increase in prices should entice sellers, it has yet to happen. We need buyers to move up and down the housing ladder, but right now they’re either stuck on the rungs or it’s too difficult to grab on to.”

The inventory of single-family homes at the end of March decreased 29.8 percent to 19,761 listings, down from 28,159 a year ago, the association reported. To date, this has been the biggest monthly year-over-year decrease since this data has been tracked. This translates into 5.1 months of supply in March, compared to 8.6 months of supply last year and the 12th straight month of inventory decreases. Condominium inventory was even worse, down 34 percent in March to 6,543, down from 9,908 lone year ago, a 4.3 months of supply. This is down from 7.9 months in March 2012.

While housing volume tanked, the median price for single-family homes sold in March rose more than 8 percent to $285,000 from $263,000 a year earlier. It was the sixth consecutive month that monthly home prices have increased year-over-year.

The median price for condos sold in March was $261,000, up more than 1.5 percent from $257,000 in March 2012. The first quarter median condo price was also up more than 1.6 percent to $250,000 from $246,000 during the prior year’s first quarter.

Tuesday
Apr232013

Layouts We Love: Comparing 1200 Square Foot Layouts Around the World

April 19, 2013
By HotelHomes.com Staff

  

There is more than one way to skin a cat, but there are also hundreds – if not thousands – of ways for architects to design homes of specific sizes and styles. In this week’s “Layouts We Love” column, we take a look at four different 1200 square foot (111 square meter) homes in hotel-residential properties around the world.

At New York’s Plaza Hotel, overlooking Grand Army Plaza where Fifth Avenue meets Central Park, an oversized one-bedroom home measuring 1245 square feet (116 square meters) is currently on the market. This wing of the Plaza is available for primary or secondary home-ownership, and its renovation and restoration in 2007 created gracious residences while respecting the landmark building’s original windows and proportions. This 14th floor residence features a grand living room with a decorative fireplace mantel overlooking the treetops and city lights of Grand Army Plaza. This luxurious home features a separate kitchen, beautiful master bedroom suite with five-fixture bathroom and walk-in closet, as well as a powder room for guests. This residence is currently on the market for US$4.4 million, available through one of the building’s most successful agents, Elizabeth Lorenzo of Stribling & Associates.

Meanwhile in the Swiss Alps, the new Chedi hotel and residences in Andermatt combine modern Asian luxury with the area’s rugged chalet style. Measuring 118 square meters (1270 square feet), a third-floor residence offers a luxurious one-bedroom layout. Both its large living room and oversized bedroom open onto a long balcony, while its unique bathroom offers the option to fold back a wall to expose the wonderful mountain views while soaking in the bathtub. Denniston Architects have planned the interiors to maximize its open feeling, and sets of double doors, folding screens, and disappearing pocket doors optimize the flow between rooms, including the lavish dressing room with extensive closets – perfect for accommodating the ski season’s extra wardrobe changes.

Back in the USA, top Boston agent Tim Marsh of Marsh Properties, Inc. has recently sold a 1245-square foot (116 square meter) home at Four Seasons Place. The luxury building located on Boston Common was completed in 1985, and remains today as one of Beantown’s most desirable residential addresses. Located on the 11th floor with sunny southern exposure, its layout has a remarkable flow that maximizes its flexibility. Its living room has double doors opening both into a library that doubles as a guest room, as well as a kitchen that can be opened for casual living, or closed for formal entertaining. Its master suite features three closets, and an oversized bathroom that separates its large vanity and sink from a separate “wet room” with bathtub and toilet.

A world away in China’s 13th largest city of Chengdu, the new Residences at the Fairmont Chengdu form part of the Palm Springs development, combining high quality office space, luxury shopping, a new Fairmont hotel and luxury residences. Currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2014, a 112 square meter (1206 square feet) residence is designed as an efficient apartment with up to three bedrooms. That may seem like a lot of rooms for 1200 square feet, but the living areas accommodate a generous living/dining room, entry foyer, separate kitchen and balcony. It’s three private rooms include a corner master bedroom suite with bathtub framed by an oversized window and separate stall shower, as well as a gracious dressing area. The second and third bedrooms can also be used as a study/library and media room.

Whether opulent grandeur in New York, luxurious flow in the Swiss Alps, flexible space in Boston, or efficient planning in Chengdu, there is a lot one can do in 1200 square feet. These four options represent some of our “best-in-class” favorites.

 

Saturday
Apr132013

Home Prices Rising Faster Than Incomes

CNBC.com   With home prices rising much faster than incomes, a rise in rates would quickly put home ownership out of reach for many, reports CNBC's Diana Olick.