Real Estate Update: US Existing Home Sales Rise in September

We are happy to report that U.S. homes sold at their fastest pace this past September than they have all year. The slowdown in the market seen mid-way through 2013 is making progress back to a faster pace. The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that existing home sales have risen 2.4 percent from the previous months to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million.This past September only added further fuel to this growing market.

According to the NAR report, September sales have improved in the South and West compared to the prior month and continue to tick up in the Northeast. The share of purchases by investors fell to 14 percent from 19 percent a year ago. In spite of the recent departure of investors, existing homeowners have been offsetting the market. Many existing homeowners have been upgrading to more expensive properties or downsizing after raising their families which have added to the push of sales this past month.

As home prices continue to recover from the breakdown that took place in 2007, there have been adjustments made and action taken in hopes to repair it fully. The federal regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering an option to lower down payments, so that more individuals can qualify for a mortgage.  Other action took place on Tuesday where the board of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted 4-1 removing the requirement stating that borrowers must provide a 20 percent down payment if their bank doesn’t hold on its book at least 5 percent of the mortgage securities tied to its home loans. Thus federal regulators loosening some credit regulations.

The market has seen a recent shift toward buyers. Chief economist, Nela, stated that additional homes may come on the market toward the end of the year as investors plan to sell for tax reasons, making conditions more preferable for buyers. Nela reported that only 44 percent of offers have faced bidding wars in October compared to the high of 75 percent in March of 2013.

One interesting fact also showed a shift towards renting with almost all of the gains coming from the recent building of apartments. In a report released by the Commerce Department last week, it shows that housing starts rose by 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million homes. The construction of apartments has soared to 30.3 percent over the past year.

Despite the reach of home-buying historic averages, records suggest that the sales decline that began last year has ended.

Dorchester Open Studios

DACopenstudioslogo2012Gibson Sotheby’s Savin Hill, Dorchester office is pleased to be a sponsor and gallery host for Dorchester Open Studios.

This free three -day arts festival feautures artists from a wide variety of disciplines, including music, dance, photography, painting, ceramics, glass working, jewelry making, sculpture, videography and more. The event is free.

On October 25 and 26, art venues will be open from noon to 5 p.m. There will be a free shuttle service providing transportation to all of the sites running about once every twenty minutes. A full schedule of events and a map indicating shuttle pick-up spots, venue locations and sponsor locations is printed in map and can also be found online.

Exhibitors featured at the Gibson Sotheby’s Savin Hill office include painter Trisha O’Neill and students of the Dot Art program. Pieces will be available for purchase.

Image7a76d7e03bc6.1Trisha O’Neill is an OFD (Originally From Dorchester) Artist/Designer with a BFA from The Massachusetts College of Art. She has been painting local scenery for two decades here at home and across the country. Her heroes are Bay Are figuratives, Ben Aronsen and Rothko. Included in her work is a series of locally inspired urban landscapes.

Dot Art will proudly showcase artwork by several children who participate in our visual arts program as part of Dorchester Open Studios. Dot Art teaches young children to use line, color, shape, design, texture and form. Founded in 1998, Dot Art offers classes in painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed-media and collage to children age 3 – 10 in Dorchester. They offer workshops in their two studios and in partnerships with local schools. Dot Art also facilitates art making events for children and families which result in works of art for the whole community to witness and experience. These art “happenings” sometimes reach hundreds. When a community witnesses large-scale public art works made by it’s children, there’s a sense of pride and ownership. They teach children to be expressive citizens and that what they have to say matters. They also use art to bring our neighborhood together.

Gibson Sotheby’s
119 Savin Hill Ave.
Dorchester MA 02125
(right next to the Red Line T stop at Savin Hill)

Spectacular Dining Rooms: A Feature of Listings from Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

In today’s real estate market, buyers are in search for homes with distinguishable factors that set them apart from others. In the past we have featured homes with unique pools and wine cellars; but this time of year, with the holiday season quickly approaching, buyers are in search for a home with a spectacular dining room.

An accommodating dining room is imperative during the holiday season to easily entertain and welcome guests to gather around one table. Dining rooms have a very special way of bringing family and friends together and today are considered to be a true luxury. Whether it be a special occasion, a celebration, or simply eating a meal together, remarkable dining rooms are a great place where you can entertain and engage in timeless conversations with loved ones.

Featured here are gorgeous homes we have listed at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. Each has an extraordinary dining room that enable a place for countless gatherings and priceless memories to be made.

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BostonREP - Marek Biela

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5 Byron Dining Room

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Being able to accommodate your family and friends around one dinner table is truly quite the blessing, especially during the holiday season! Without the proper dining room this special occurrence would not be possible. Do not hesitate to contact any of our agents today regarding the above spectacular properties and make one of these dining rooms your own right in time for the holidays.

Back Bay Real Estate: Building on Newbury Street sells for $12.5 Million

Back Bay Real Estate, Back Bay Boston, 275 Newbury Street

This four-story building at 275 Newbury St. has been sold for $12.5 million

A building in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay neighborhood has just sold for $12.5 Million. Located on the bustling Newbury Street that is lined with top restaurants and boutique stores, 275 Newbury Street is a visually stunning property right in the heart of all the action.

Sold by Joyce Hampers, the operator of a pair of spas in the Back Bay and a former Department of Revenue commissioner, the property was most recently purchased by her in 2004 for $5 Million. Indeed, the real estate market has clearly been performing well not just in the residential sector over the past few years, but also in the commercial real estate market given these drastic price increases.

Purchased by Centremark Properties and Pearlmark Real Estate Partners, the deal only closed about a week ago. One of the managing partners, Nader Golestaneh, was unable to be reached for comment. However, early indications are that the new owners desire one large tenant to occupy the entirety of the four-story building going forward.

More Information: Boston Business Journal

Roxbury Real Estate: $10 Million Mixed-Use Development Planned

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An artist rendering of “The Clarion,” a 67,000 square feet on the city-owned one-acre site at 311 Blue Hill Ave.

There has certainly been no shortage of news regarding all of the new projects that are on the horizon for the Greater Boston area. Indeed, this is welcomed given the shortage of inventory that has also hit our market. So while the Seaport District, South Boston, the Back Bay, South End, Downtown, and more are seeing constant development and proposed plans, the latest news comes to us from Roxbury.

It is here where The Community Builders have filed plans to build a $10 Million mixed-use housing development on a vacant parcel of land near Roxbury’s Grove Hall.

Recently filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, ‘The Clarion’, as the project would be called, would consist of two buildings totalling 67,000 square feet. Specifically located at 311 Blue Hill Avenue, the location includes eight lots of land that were acquired by Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development.

A groundbreaking for this endeavor is slated for next year. One of the buildings will be two-stories, while the other will have four-stories. In total, the facilities will have 40 apartments with an additional 5,000 square feet of space for community usage on the ground floor. It must be noted that thirteen of these units will be marketed at market-rate.

Since their founding in the 1960s, The Community Builders, also known simply as TCB, have built 320 projects and 25,000 housing units across 15 States in the country. Hopefully, if things go to plan, these numbers will continue to rise due to the building of this lovely development in Roxbury.

More Information: Boston Business Journal

Beacon Hill Real Estate: $12M Office Building to be Converted to Housing

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The building at 39-41 Mount Vernon St. has been sold by the Unitarian Universalist Association for $11.5 million

A massive transaction has just occurred in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. Just recently, The Unitarian Universalist Association sold their gorgeous property at 39-41 Mount Vernon Street. This stunning property has earned the nickname ‘The Mount Vernon’, and it’s superb location is much of the reason it just sold for $11.5 Million.

This 23,000 square foot building at the corner of Mount Vernon and Joy Streets is incredibly close to the State House, and is now proudly owned by the purchasers, Mount Vernon Partners LLC. This group is a joint venture between an institutional investor from France known as Xavier Giraud, as well as local property investor, Daniel Rene Capital Partners.

The new owners plan to convert this property from what today is office space into luxury residences. Stay tuned for more news regarding the specifics and timeline to be put in place for the residences at 39-41 Mount Vernon Street in Boston’s picturesque Beacon Hill.

More Information: Boston Business Journal

Massachusetts Real Estate: New Record for Pending Home Sales in July

Massachusetts Association of Realtors, Massachusetts Real Estate, Massachusetts Real Estate News, Massachusetts Real Estate Market

Pending Sales for Single-Family Homes rose for the 17th consecutive month when compared year-over-year

The Massachusetts real estate market continued to be on quite the impressive tear over the month of July, reports the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. What was just released was that single-family homes sales put under agreement (also known as pending sales), increased in July over July of 2013.

There was a massive 17% increase in this year-over-year comparison, bumping pending sales from 4,554 across the Bay State during last year’s July, to 5,339 this year. This also marked the 17th straight month where there have been annual monthly increases in pending sales.

While demand to purchase real estate remained strong across Massachusetts, prices also performed exceptionally well. The median sales price for single-family properties that had pending sales last month rose by 3% from $350,000 during July of 2013 to $360,000 during July of this year.

Peter Ruffini, the President of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, came forward to comment on yet another successful month for the industry, “It’s no surprise to see buyer demand continue its strong pace into the second half of the year. Combined with the fact that new listings to the market were up significantly in June, this should translate into good year-over-year sales numbers for July.”

Transitioning from single-family homes to condominiums, they too excelled. Condos placed under agreement last month climbed by 9.9% to 2,046 units compared to just 1,862 units in July of 2013. This also marked a monumental breakthrough as it was the most number of pending sale condominiums Massachusetts has ever seen since July of 2005.

Prices for condominiums followed this positive as median prices rose from $312,000 to $320,000, representing a 2.6% hike. Given how well the market has performed thus far in August, it seems likely that once this months final numbers have been released, more success stories are to follow suit.

More Information: Boston Business Journal

Sotheby's International Realty: Brand Opens another Texan Office

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Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has expanded in Austin, Texas

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC has just announced today that the firm has opened yet another branch. This time, we have expanded in Texas as Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has acquired Amelia Bullock Realtors in Austin. The two locations that Amelia Bullock Realtors operated in Austin will now do business under the name Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty.

Harry J. Kuper, the Broker/Owner of the firm, now proudly is represented in eight offices throughout Texas with three others in San Antonio, one in Boerne, and four total in Austin. Kuper noted that this expansion will help solidify the brand’s position as a market leader, “As Austin becomes an even greater international city, the support of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand has become that much more critical,” he said.  “We see extraordinary value in this brand and the tools and resources it provides.  We proudly welcome Amelia Bullock Realtors’ associates to our organization and their longstanding reputation for excellence.”

Philip White, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, then noted, “Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has earned a reputation for quality service. Amelia Bullock is a family-owned business like Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty and has been operating for 45 years.  Together, I believe that the combination of these two outstanding firms will make an even greater impact in the Austin market.  We are proud to now have a total of 22 Sotheby’s International Realty offices in Texas.”

Our network now extends to over 52 countries and territories worldwide with 720 offices represented by 15,000 brilliant sales associates. We at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty for this accomplishment.

For other Sotheby’s International Realty office openings that have occurred recently, please see the various links below:

More Information: Sotheby’s International Realty

Boston News: Temporary Park coming to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

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An artist rendering of “The Lawn on D,” a 2.7-acre outdoor event space to open next week adjacent to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

There is never enough green spaces, and now another gorgeous one is soon to open in our beautiful city of Boston. As a result of the expansion plans slated for the two hotels by the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, a temporary park is now slated to be ready to open by this coming Saturday, August 16th.

To be known as ‘The Lawn on D’, this 2.7 acre lot of land is uniquely designed to be able to host a variety of events and gatherings. The property is to be used to encourage public engagement, foster creativity, and test opportunities for integrating into the BCEC with music, food, games, beverage programs, arts, and other community programs.

This space will be an experimental, interactive outdoor venue that will be the first of its kind in Boston. The property will only be open for roughly 18 months, however, with the programs to be held here appropriately changing with the seasons.

Some of the ideas for the park will be for performing arts, live music, park benches, art exhibitions, bocce courts, lounge chairs, lawn games, free Wi-Fi, ping-pong tables, and more.

James Rooney, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, once shared that, “It’s kind of experimental. We’ll have the ability for flexible framework, to have a tent, paved areas, grass areas and we hope to keep it open for 18 months.”

More Information: Boston Business Journal

Copley Place Residences: Back Bay Tower selects ODA Architecture for Interior Design

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An artist’s rendering of the interior of the expanded Copley Place

One of the most highly anticipated luxury residential towers that will ever be built on the east coast of the United States has just made another giant step forward. ‘Copley Place’, the 52-story, $500 Million project, has just selected New York-based ODA Architecture to design the amenities, public spaces, and interiors of this stunning development.

Located at 100 Huntington Avenue at the edge of the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods and will rise above Copley Square, the tower will be built above what is currently Neiman Marcus that borders Dartmouth Street.

This massive mixed-use development will stand as one of the tallest in the entirety of Boston. It was approved last year by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and will see 109 condominiums, 433 apartments, and 115,000 square feet of first-rate expanded retail and restaurant space added in a gorgeous all-season glass enclosed atrium.

The search for a firm who would be primarily in charge of the interior design was certainly an extensive process. The developers, the Simon Property Group who are the nation’s largest shopping mall owner, noted that ODA Architecture emerged as the ultimate choice for establishing a new residential experience for the Back Bay. Their experienced backed by their cutting edge interior design services for hospitality, luxury residential, cultural, and commercial projects were second to none.

Gaylon Melton, the Vice President of Design at the Simon Property Group, shared that, “We were looking for a rising star in the design world that could deliver a new definition of interior luxury for this iconic building,” he said. “And we believe ODA is key to bringing a whole new luxury lifestyle to Boston.”

The lead architectural firm for the master planning of the facility is Elkus-Manfredi Architects. They are responsible for the exterior design of the residential tower, the atrium, and the expanded retail space.

The groundbreaking for this spectacular endeavor is slated for spring of 2015.

More Information: Boston Business Journal