Developers Wanted as Boston Housing Trend Moves from Rental to Ownership

For condo developers looking at Boston and the surrounding area, now is the right time to make a move. In fact, a New England Building Supply article just last month talked about the incredible increase in demand for Boston housing. It isn’t limited to single family homes, but apartments, high rise condos and more.

In fact, the most important detail to take away from all of this is the type of housing that is currently in demand. A recent Boston Globe article talks about this in detail: So far this year, more than 4,000 Boston development projects have been proposed, and the majority of these units are not rentals or single family homes, but condominiums. City officials are even going so far as to say that the rental market is in a decline while homeownership has surged over the past several years.

The bottom line is this: Homeownership is increasing throughout Boston as more and more people flock to the city or make the leap from renting to owning. Let’s take an in-depth look at this trend to see how it can benefit condo developers!

Notable Boston Development Projects

The best place to start is by looking at some of the projects that are already underway or that have been proposed. The most prominent projects are all high rise condos, including Alloy Residences in Assembly Row. In fact, these condos became so popular that during the eight-week pre-sale, 45% of the units sold.

Other major projects include a proposed tower near Fenway Park. This proposal was filed by developer Trans National Properties, who said that the high rise condos would become an iconic landmark. There are also plans to build a $260 million condo tower on Seaport Boulevard, and condo developer Cresset Development wants to turn the Chinatown Verizon building into housing, creating 46 apartments on the upper three floors.

How Condo Developers Can Get Started

The first thing that a developer needs to do is to learn how to work with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. This is the agency that guides developers through the steps necessary to redevelop Boston while continuing to maintain the city’s history and unique character. If you are like most developers, you are already bracing yourself for what seems like a mountain of bureaucracy to wade through, but fortunately, the BRA has worked hard the past two years to modernize, become more transparent, and to become more efficient. Click here to learn more about the BRA’s vision for each part of Boston.

What a Successful Development Project Needs

Right now, the number one thing that potential buyers are looking for in Boston is luxury amenities. No mid-range or economy condo will do. Buyers want a wide range of high-end extras, and they are willing to pay for it. Here are some examples:

  • Architectural diversity is crucial. Abandon the thought of plain, square rooms and move towards creating something unique.
  • Buyers want high-end appliances, but they also want energy efficiency, too. Make sure to strike a balance between both of these things.
  • People are looking for things to make their lives easier. This includes things like electric charging stations for their cars, covered parking, business centers and more.
  • Make sure to include places to play. Rooftop gardens are big, and so are things like coffee shops on the main floor or places for pets to play.

For those condo developers that are looking for a new venture, the right time is right now. Whether you propose a new high rise condo or the refurbishment of an existing tower, it is hard to go wrong as long as you stay in keeping with the things that the BRA requires and with the high-end amenities that buyers are demanding.