Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence in Vermont and New Hampshire

4seasonsSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC recently announced the merger of Lang McLaughry Real Estate, which has 15 offices throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, and Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, which has three offices in New Hampshire. The combined company will be operating as Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty.

Simultaneous with this transaction, the combined company has acquired Vermont Country Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, which has five offices across Vermont. A total of 22 offices across Vermont and New Hampshire now will operate as Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Lang McLaughry was established in 1959, bringing an established reputation built over 56 years for service and excellence in the community, and Four Seasons and Vermont Country Properties are both highly respected companies with a similar focus on service excellence.” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We are proud to welcome them to the Sotheby’s International Realty global network.”
Staige Davis will serve as chief executive officer of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty with Buff McLaughry serving as chief operating officer. Stephanie Wheeler and Pam Perkins are co-owners of the newly combined entity.

“Our goal for nearly six decades has been to provide superior, innovative real estate services to buyers and sellers,” said Davis, formerly chief executive officer of Lang McLaughry. “We are proud to join the Sotheby’s International Realty worldwide network, which we feel has the best marketing resources available in real estate and a reputation for extraordinary service and consistency. Bringing our companies together enables us to continue to pursue our visions of excellence and innovation in how we service our local communities, while being part of a strong global real estate network. Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty opened its first office more than 100 years ago, affiliating with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in 2009. We are so pleased to unite with that rich and deep history.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has over 16,400 sales associates located in approximately 730 offices in 56 countries and territories worldwide. Here at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty we would like to sincerely congratulate Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty on this extraordinary achievement. In speaking with our Relocation Director we could not be more excited about this merge. Nicole Rideout indicates that a huge majority of our referral buyers are going just north of us to these beautiful destinations on the coast, lakes, and in the mountains for their second home purchases or as empty nesters. We are happy to continue to facilitate these transactions with Four Season’s in their newly acquired territories. Feel free to contact us with any inquiries by email at relocation@gibsonsir.com

More Information: Sotheby’s International Realty

News from our Director of Relocation, Nicole Rideout

Nicole_Rideout_02The secret’s out!  Well, Logan Airport recently announcing a slew of direct flights to international cities including Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai may have been a spoiler alert but, none the less, Boston is rising consistently as one of the worlds most popular cities in the world.  The areas thriving economy, world-renowned hospitals, phenomenal school districts, and highly acclaimed colleges are drawing in families, individuals and companies of all demographics at an all time high.  We have seen a spike both domestically and internationally over the last 18 months.

Coupling an international brand with over 50 years of expertise in the Boston and Greater Boston market allows our company to offer our clients a significant edge.  Relocating clients can easily access our agent base which is equipped with over 15 languages, and sellers can subsequently access this invaluable network of clients.  Our company just announced our most recent endeavor in expanding into Cambridge.  Cambridge is home to some of our countries best colleges, including Harvard and MIT as well as many cutting edge pharmaceutical companies making it a very appealing home for relocating individuals.   The thriving Cambridge market was in need of a local brand with international capability and we are excited to officially introduce our powerful network to the flourishing area.

We reported on the specifics of our international buyers in a recent blog.  This data illustrates the significant increase in buyers from China as well as other countries.  Many international buyers site our school systems as the primary reason for moving here.  A great deal of our international clients purchase property for their children while they go to school, a property we like to refer to as ‘kiddie condos’.  Ergo, the city has proven to be a magnet to young people in particular.  Most of these young people end up making the city their home when their education is complete.  A recent report showed that about 24% of units in new developments are being purchased by international clients and a majority of these transactions are done in cash (Source Boston Globe).  Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR.com) has about 841,096 visits per month and about 42% of these are from outside of the US.  This data as a whole connotes the same message: international buyers are a vital part of our market and our economy and will continue to elicit this impact.  We are both excited and equipped to handle these transactions.

For more information contact our Relocation Department at relocation@gibsonsir.com

Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty: Dorchester on the Rise in 2015

infographicIn 2014, Dorchester saw improvements across the board. Sales have significantly increased reaching a new high of 734 properties sold for the year. A decrease in the average days properties have been on the market is at a new low of 60 days proving that the demand to purchase in this rapidly improving area is stronger than ever.

According to the Boston Business Journal, a task force was created by Mayor Walsh, a Dorchester Native, to focus on replicating the success of the Innovation District in other parts of the city. A committee made up of 27 local leaders will focus their efforts on four neighborhoods which include Dorchester’s Fields Corner, Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester, Dudley Square in Roxbury to Uphams Corner in Dorchester, and East Boston. This committee can only cause improvements on such neighborhoods that are already thriving on their own.

Voted “Neighborhood of the Year”, Dorchester is significantly evolving as new restaurants, businesses, and developments take over the main streets. Longtime businesses are also revitalizing their store fronts and updating their selections to keep up with this time of innovation.

A few up and coming developments in Dorchester include Ashmont TOD2, a dynamic six-story development with approximately 81 residential units, ground floor retail, and underground and surface parking. This new building is being designed as a contemporary, environment-friendly, Transit Oriented Development that will build on the success of The Carruth to bring a more walkable and better utilized environment to Dorchester Avenue.

Another proposed development is a mixed-use, transit oriented condo project on Savin Hill located directly across from our Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty Savin Hill office and the MBTA station. A spot that has been vacant for almost a decade now according to Mayor Walsh, will be the Savin Hill Residences comprised of 14 units of housing and a single commercial unit on the first floor. There is also talk of another three-story condo complex consisting of 22 residential units and a restaurant said to be called “the Dorchester” located at 367 Neponset Avenue.

Dorchester has recently seen an influx of buyers due to the reasonable prices and great location with easy access to public transportation. With this boom of construction, the Dorchester market can only improve. A great deal of Dorchester’s recent development has been surrounding the T’s Red Line and soon to be stop on the MBTA Fairmont Line at Blue Hill Avenue. This stop is set to open in June 2017 and will bring a great deal of opportunities to Dorchester’s western neighborhoods improving the city overall.

Here at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty we are Dorchester specialists and are excited to be part of the changes to come in these Dorchester neighborhoods. Contact any of our Savin Hill office agents at 617.825.0800­ for any of your real estate needs and to find out what has made our team the #1 office in Dorchester sales for 2014.

More Information: Dorchester Reporter, Boston Business Journal

Real Estate Market Update: Boston & Cambridge – 2014 in Review

Boston is thriving in home sales, especially in the up and coming luxury condo market. Its luxury market is currently ranked one of the best in the nation. With a solid economy to go along with these home sales there is no question that Boston is at the top for quality housing markets.

As we grow into yet another key luxury market, our hardworking and dedicated team of 170 agents closed a subsequent year with a billion dollars of real estate under agreement.

Read about the opening of our new office and detailed market reports of Boston & Cambridge in the 2014 In Review – Real Estate Market Update

Sotheby’s International Realty News: Philip White named as one of Swanepoel’s Power 200

sp200_badgePresident and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, Philip White, has been named one of the most powerful individuals in residential real estate for 2014/2015.

Candidates that make up Swanepoel’s Power 200 lead our industry, maximize revenue, and do whatever possible in order to help others succeed. “Leadership is about showing the way, especially during times of change. It’s about enabling and empowering your team to succeed at higher levels and beat out the competition.”

A 34-year industry veteran, White has served the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in both management capacities and as a broker and owner. According to the National Association of Realtors®, under his leadership, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s sales volume grew by 29% in 2013, compared to 19% for the overall market.

Other names from the extraordinary Sotheby’s International Realty brand that made the Power 200 include Kathy Korte, Paul Breunich, Scott Webber, and Judy Green.

The Sotheby’s International Realty network is now represented by more than 15,000 dedicated sales associates in over 720 offices in 56 countries and territories worldwide. We at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty would like to congratulate Philip White and the others on this prodigious achievement.

More information: Swanepoel Power 200

Boston Real Estate News: Plans for Innovative Architecture in the Hub

011615marginalLoftsBoston is in the midst of one of its largest building booms throughout the entire city. With this, Mayor Martin J. Walsh is encouraging developers to create bolder and more innovative architecture for projects to come in 2015. Recently, Walsh spoke to an audience at the Boston Chamber of Commerce announcing that he wants to see these new developments adding to the structural design of the city. He stated, “Boston can do better,” calling the design “merely functional” as some of the buildings have been described boxy and bland despite Boston’s historical factor.

Walsh is urging developers who are part of this boom to reach beyond their comfort zone designing buildings that reflect Boston’s culture of innovation. His message certainly caught and kept the attention of many developers. He hopes to see collaboration with designers crafting plans that not only add to inventory but to the skyline as well.

Boston is seeing these new luxury buildings being built and although designing sleek and unique construction can be costly, developers are willing to take that risk. In Boston, Cesar Pelli, a renowned architect designed a bold glass tower for a local investment group’s project at One Congress adding an exceptional design to the building.

“The talent is here. It’s been here,” said Elizabeth Whittaker, founder of Merge Architects. “And more and more of it will stay here if emerging architects begin to trust that they will be able to engage in more contemporary work in the city.” Whittaker has opened the eyes to many developers with her recent designs such as the Marginal Street Lofts in East Boston.

Tim Love, principal of Hub architecture firm Utile and president of the Boston Society of Architects whose firm has completed innovative projects recently in South Boston stated, “We also need to change some of the industry standards on floor-plate sizes, elevator cores and corridors that constrict better design.” He suggested that the developing firms of these bigger projects hold design competitions adding members to their team who will bring edge and fresh ideas to the cities design.

The innovative design that Mayor Walsh is seeking is possible here in the Hub. The plan to build beautiful 21st century architecture is in progress as developers collaborate with designers. Considering many developers do not have a background in design, this collaboration will bring new ideas and strong vivid designs to Boston’s style.

Click here for more information: Boston Herald

News from our Director of Productivity, Colleen Barry

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Colleen Barry, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty Director of Productivity

Our Director of Productivity, Colleen Barry, works thoroughly with our talented team of real estate agents enhancing their services. Offering both one-to-one guidance and group coaching, Colleen significantly helps our agents to grow their business.

As a contributor to Inman News, Colleen’s most recent article focuses on the quality of third-party websites. She voiced a controversial opinion: “In spite of the prevailing opinion, our industry is actually thriving in the age of consumer-driven, third-party real estate websites.”

Although the real estate industry has been ever changing in the past 10-15 years due to third-party websites such as Trulia and Zillow, Colleen highlighted four facts of what has more importantly NOT changed. These four include:

“1. Most people still select their agent through a personal connection. NAR says that 50 percent were referred, 12 percent used the agent they used in the past, 6 percent met the agent at an open house, and 3 percent were personally contacted by the agent. This is a total of 71 percent of buyers selecting an agent because of a personal connection.

2. Buyers still need the same skills from us. Though more than 90 percent of buyers are using the Internet to search for homes, 53 percent of those polled wanted help finding the right home. They are perhaps spoiled for choice, and so they are in need of expert guidance in specific areas: 23 percent of buyers wanted help with negotiating, 8 percent wanted help with determining the sale price of comparable homes, and 7 percent wanted help with paperwork.

3. They still rank our honesty, reputation and skill as important when selecting us. When polled, trustworthiness (25 percent), reputation (21 percent), personal connections (16 percent) and knowledge (8 percent) were the most important factors in choosing an agent.

4. Buyers note multiple benefits in using an agent. Those polled said the agent provided many benefits, including help with understanding the process (59 percent), pointing out unnoticed features/faults of the property (53 percent), negotiating better contract terms (44 percent) and knowledge of search areas (44 percent).”

Ultimately, searching on third-party websites allows buyers to meet with a real estate agent knowing specifically what they are looking for. From there Colleen says to connect, guide, educate and maintain that relationship with the buyer after the sale leading to a possible rehire.

Click here to read the full article from our Director of Productivity, Colleen Barry.

Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty News: 2014 International Buyer Transactions

In the past year, the luxury market in Boston has risen significantly. Despite the lack of inventory, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty yet again had an extremely successful year putting $1 Billion worth of sales under agreement in 2014.

The surge of luxury properties in Boston has been catching and keeping the attention of international buyers. Recent trends show that international buyers are motivated by Massachusetts’ improving economy, school systems and new direct connection flights from Logan to various locations in the world. Asian buyers, specifically Chinese, are on the rise here in the Hub. With this being said, here is a sample of international buyer transactions from Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty completed in 2014:

International Buyers
Boston is an international city that has proven to attract residents from all over the world. These trends are predicted to only grow stronger in upcoming years as international transactions become more apparent. To go along with the unsurpassed global reach at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, they now have 8 offices in Boston, Cambridge and Westwood backed by more than 15,000 sales associates in over 720 Sotheby’s International Realty offices in 56 countries and territories. This extraordinary network leads to successful international transactions providing white glove services not only in Boston but across the globe.

For more information, contact our Director of Relocation, Nicole Rideout, by email at nicole.rideout@sothebysrealty.com or by telephone 857.362.1758.

Top 10 Highest Sales of 2014 at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

74 Beacon Street- Beacon Hill                                                                        Sale Price: $12,500,000
The Benjamin Mansion- over 8,000 square feet of luxury living. Most outstanding townhouse restoration in Boston that overlooks the Public Garden. 6 Bedrooms, 6 Full and 3 Half Bathrooms.

776 Boylston Street Unit W12B- Back Bay                                                   Sale Price: $11,950,000
Extraordinary residence on the 12th floor at the Mandarin Oriental. Outstanding Charles River views. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

476 Beacon Street Unit PH- Back Bay                                                           Sale Price: $5,850,000
New construction completed in 2014 with over 3,000 square feet of luxury living with a gorgeous private roof deck. 3 Bedrooms, 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

15 West Cedar Street- Beacon Hill                                                                Sale Price: $5,225,000
Spectacular Beacon Hill Townhouse renovated to perfection!
4 Bedroom, 4 Full and 2 Half Bathrooms.

23 West Cedar Street- Beacon Hill                                                                Sale Price: $5,125,000
Gorgeous renovated Greek Revival-style single family home. Over 5,000 square feet of elegant living. 5 Bedrooms, 5 Full and 2 Half Bathrooms.

259 Marlborough Street Unit 7- Back Bay                                                   Sale Price: $4,575,000
Meticulously renovated Pent House Duplex with complete custom renovation completed in 2013. Inviting 1,200 square foot private roof deck with views of the Charles River and Boston Skyline. 3 Bedrooms, 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

1 Charles Street South Unit PH2C- Back Bay                                             Sale Price: $4,100,000
Gorgeous Back Bay Condominium in a full service building. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room boast exquisite views of downtown Boston and the Common.
3 Bedrooms, 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

1 Avery Street Unit 25B- Midtown                                                                Sale Price: $3,800,000
Stunning luxury condominium at the Ritz Carlton. Sweeping panoramic views of the Charles, Boston Common, Public Gardens and all of downtown Boston.
3 Bedrooms, 3 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

157 Warren Avenue- South End                                                                     Sale Price: $3,612,000
Extraordinary single family restoration overlooking the flowers and trees of beautiful Hayes Park. Third floor guest level with stairs up to a private roof deck with sweeping views of the Back Bay skyline. 5 Bedroom, 4 Full and 1 Half Bathroom.

31 Holyoke Street- South End                                                                       Sale Price: $3,675,000
Dramatic townhouse completely renovated in 2006 as a penthouse triplex and lower duplex. Exceptional roof deck with spectacular city views.
5 Bedrooms, 4 Full and 2 Half Bathrooms.

Sotheby’s Auction House: Female Power Players Achieve Record Breaking Prices in 2014

In 2014, women artists played a prominent role in the Sotheby’s Auction House Art Market. There was a surge in appreciation of works done by female artists achieving prices that were record breaking.

Jimson Weed of 1932, an iconic flower painting done by Georgia O’Keeffe, more than tripled the former world auction record for any female artist. The piece drew in an outstanding $44.4M in New York this past November. This landed O’Keeffe 8th overall in the top 10 highest sold pieces at the Sotheby’s Auction House for all of 2014.

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Jimson Weed of 1932 by Georgia O’Keeffee

The top ten highest sold pieces at the Sotheby’s Auction House in 2014 included:
• Alberto Giacometti, Chariot sold for $100,965,000
• Amedeo Modigliani, Tête sold for an artist’s record of $70,725,000
• Vincent Van Gogh, Still life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies sold or $61,765,000
• Claude Monet, Nymphéas sold for $54,071,001
• JWM Turner, Rome, from Mount Aventine sold for $47,430,454
• Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer sold for $45,400,274
• Mark Rothko, No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) sold for $44,965,000
Georgia O’Keeffe, Jimson Weed sold for $44,405,000
• Mark Rothko Untitled sold for $39,925,000
• Mark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) sold for $36,565,000

Other notable female artist figures in 2014 include Kay Sage, Vija Celmins, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Julia Margaret Cameron. American artist Kay Sage, emerged from the shadow of her husband’s reputation with her suggestive painting Le Passage of 1956. The piece immensely exceeded predicted sales when it sold for $7.1M.

The time and effort put into pieces by Vija Celmins is a scarcity seen by collectors. Her labor-intensive and meticulously detailed work is hard to come by which leads to furious competition when it appears at auction. Burning Plane from 1965 doubled the high estimate of $1.2M selling for $3.4M.

The Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi set a new record for herself taking in a remarkable sum of $1.2M exceeding predicted sale prices by almost $100,000. Lastly, Julia Margaret Cameron doubled her previous record auctioning No. 5 of a series of twelve life-sized heads for $461,000.

Closing out the year with record prices, this outstanding growth in appreciation for women artists demonstrates that the best is yet to come for the Sotheby’s Auction House.

More Information: Artlyst