Downtown Crossing Housing Is Heating Up

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Posted March 1, 2013 by Rachel Leah Blumenthal in Business

Thinking about moving downtown? Now is a great time to explore the housing in Downtown Crossing, as the neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hottest in the city. Real estate listings in the area started off at a low point this year, in keeping with the fact that Greater Boston housing inventory (number of residences available for sale) is at its lowest since 2000. Real estate experts are predictably optimistic about more residences being listed for sale in the coming months. The current short supply, though, is a great indicator that Downtown Crossing is an up-and-coming area. Everyone’s trying to get in.

The housing inventory is usually low during the fall and winter, but this winter has been even lower than normal. For example, January inventory from 2010-2012 has averaged approximately 20,000 residences available around the Boston area. January 2013 saw only 14,000 residences for sale, according to the Department of Numbers. There was a slight improvement last month, as the February inventory saw about 1,000 residences added, with the median asking price continuing to hold steady around $330,000. That’s up only about 4 percent from this time last year.

Increased demand due to job growth and other factors are contributing to the lower inventory, which is at less than a two-month supply, Kevin Ahearn, president of Boston residential brokerage firm Otis & Ahearn, told the Boston Herald. (For comparison, an average housing inventory is considered to have about a six-month supply.) Buyers are snapping up residences faster than usual: Houses are spending less time on the market, and open house attendance is higher than normal, according to Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Millennium Place luxury project is scheduled to open downtown in the fall of 2013

The Millennium Place luxury project is scheduled to open downtown in the fall of 2013

Helping to boost the inventory average is the only major residential development currently underway in Boston, Downtown Crossing’s Millennium Place. Opening in the fall of 2013, the 15-story Millennium Place will boast over 250 luxury residences, including penthouses with private terraces and access to a unique social program that takes advantage of attractions in the neighborhood. The Washington and Avery location is perfect walking distance from all of downtown’s bustling shopping and dining areas, and just steps away from Boston Common, the Opera House, and Paramount Theatre. The property landed on real estate blog Curbed Boston’s January “heatmap” of hot residential projects, and the Millennium Place sales office, which opened in October, is experiencing steady activity and strong sales.

With the continuing improvement and growth of the neighborhood, now is the perfect time to explore living in downtown Boston. New restaurants are opening in the neighborhood regularly, from Bogie’s Place to Sip Wine Bar & Kitchen. Given the current rock-bottom interest rates, buyers will likely continue to purchase at a healthy pace. However, the season for selling is spring, when inventories have historically swelled to their annual peak. If you’re considering making the move to be closer to work or to all the vibrant downtown scene has to offer, don’t hesitate…the time to act may be just around the corner.

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