House and Senate Tax Legislation Changes

How will the tax legislation impact real estate?

While the Senate and House have yet to agree on the legislative changes that the chambers passed this past week, it’s clear that the changes anticipated will affect owners and prospective buyers of real estate.

The key changes impact the Mortgage Interest Deduction, the State and Local Tax Deduction and the Capital Gains Exemption.  All of which we’ve briefly outlined below…

Mortgage Interest Deduction

The current Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) is currently capped at $1,000,000.  The House proposes the cap be lowered by $500,000 while the senate proposes keeping the MID at $1,000,000.  The Houses proposal would limit MID on owners who own properties in excess of $1 Million.  This policy does not take into account for inflation.  As coastal cities valuations continue to grow, more homeowners will lose the ability to deduct their mortgage interest overtime as values appreciate.

State and Local Tax Deduction

The new legislation retains the deduction for real estate property taxes but limits the amount to $10,000.  10% of all real estate owners exceed $10,000 annually.

Capital Gains Exemption

Current rules require homeowners to live in their home for two of the previous five years in order to qualify for the exemption.  The exemption currently is that any profit on a real estate transaction is tax free on the first $250,000 of profit for individuals and up to $500,000 for married couples.  This rule would change for homeowners from two of the previous five years to five of the previous eight years of homeownership.  Under the new rule, in order for an owner to qualify for a capital gains exemption,  the owner will now need to live in a primary residence for a minimum of 5 years prior to selling.

This may reduce inventory on the market and actually increase valuations as owners of real estate elect to hold onto their properties for a minimum of 5 years in order to qualify for the capital gains exemption.  This could potentially decrease that amount of supply on the market and increase pricing due to limited supply.

Additional Negative Changes for Real Estate

Eliminates the interest deduction on all Home Equity Loans

Eliminates the deduction for ALL state and local taxes (including property taxes)

Eliminates the deduction for moving expenses with an exemption for military families

Requires a Presidential Declaration of Disaster to use the deduction for personal casualty loss

What do these changes mean for Real Estate Prices?

It’s hard to say.  On the one hand, most of the tax policies make homeownership more expensive.  That being said, most buyers of real estate rarely calculate the MID or take into account the Capital Gains Exemption.  Since buyers typically aren’t aware of deductions or Capital Gain Exemptions, it’s hard to say whether buyers will factor in these taxation policies prior to buying.

In addition, the Capital Gains Exemption could actually stop sellers from selling until they hit their 5 year timeframe.  This could cause a lack of inventory on the market as sellers hold their property longer.

As theses changes become more concrete, we will continue to update you as these proposal become concrete legislation.

 

Rafi Properties’ Chrysanthemum Building in the North End

Currently under construction, Rafi Properties’ Chrysanthemum Building in the North End will include nine residential units plus a ground-floor restaurant space.  The five-story building on Salem Street features a unique sustainable design and has been awarded with the prestigious Holcim Design Award for sustainable buildings.  The Chrysanthemum Building’s architect is Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. Pricing for the units is not available yet.

Unit Breakdown for the Chrysanthemum Building

The nine residential units will include 4 single bedrooms/studios, 2 two-bedrooms plus a study, and 3 duplexes that are two to three-bedrooms.   The 3 penthouse duplexes — located on the fourth and fifth floors — will include private balconies and private roof decks.  The private roof decks will each feature a built-in grill station with a sink, cooler, and grill.

Features and Common Amenities

In line with the project team’s goal of promoting sustainability and alternative transportation, each unit comes with a road bike, located in the indoor secured bike storage area.  Residents will also be able to make use of a common green space terrace located at the back of the building.

Promoting Sustainability

The development team focused on promoting sustainability as a major goal, starting with the very location of the building.  Salem Street in the North End is a vibrant area with many restaurants, bars, and dog-friendly areas, all within walking distance.  Moreover, the North End boasts a perfect public transit score of 100.

The design of the building also strives for maximum sustainability, with the design taking full advantage of the site’s location in terms of optimal sunlight exposure.  The building’s green terrace benefits from ample sunlight.  In addition, residents will save significantly on their utility bill through the building’s energy saving systems, which will include Nest, LED lighting, and tankless hot water system.

Finally, the development will feature a high level of building intelligence.  It will have a professional management system through Rafi Properties’ web application.  Residents will be able to easily put in maintenance requests as well as pay utilities.  Furthermore, the application has the added benefit of giving residents referrals for local service professionals for laundry, dry cleaning, house cleaning, and dog walking, etc.

Below have a look at a rendering of the Chrysanthemum Building:

The Chrysanthemum. Front of the building.
Rendering of the Chrysanthemum Building, view from the front.

Pre-Construction Work Begins on Seaport Square’s M1M2 residential component

Pre-construction work has begun for Seaport Square’s M1M2 residential component, which is slated to include three towers housing a combined 735 condos and apartments.  Cottonwood Management Group has started initial site work on the 3.5-acre site in Seaport Square set to feature the three towers.

Two of the three towers will contain condos.  At least 455 of the total 735 units will be condos, Tom Acitelli reports for Curbed

In addition to residential units, M1M2 will have 125,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space as well as a public courtyard.  The project site is next to Cottonwood’s East Coast offices located at 101 Seaport Boulevard.  The tower, rising 17 stories, was completed in 2015 and was the first office tower in Seaport Square.

Construction of M1M2 is slated to be completed by early 2020.  An official groundbreaking ceremony is planned for May, following the completion of pre-construction work.

Complimentary Buyer Representation

To learn more about Seaport Square Block M, please contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.

Below have a look at some renderings of M1M2:

Seaport Square M1M2 View from Autumn Lane
M1M2 View from Autumn Lane
Rendering of Seaport Square Block M from the East
Rendering of Seaport Square Block M from the East
Seaport Square Block M
Rendering of Seaport Square Block M from the West

Thomas Martin Lofts in Chelsea All Priced Under $550,000

204 Spencer Avenue in Chelsea, a building dating back to the mid-1880s, was once the site of a Baptist church for close to a century.  This year, Roback Real Estate and Jems Financial converted the building — which was vacant until that point — into 10 luxury loft-style condos, ranging from studios to 3-bedroom units.

Called the Thomas Martin Lofts (named after the building’s original builder), Tom Acitelli writes for Curbed that the condos — priced at $325,000 to $525,000 — are a steal relative to downtown Boston condo prices, and demonstrate how Chelsea increasingly is offering a viable option for buyers who may be priced out of Boston proper.  The condos are currently on sale through Jeff Bowen.  New development in Chelsea, coupled with the Silver Line extension into the city, may continue to help boost the neighborhood as a “genuine alternative” to Boston, according to Acitelli.

Below have a look at some photos of the Thomas Martin Lofts:

Thomas Martin Lofts 1

Thomas Martin Lofts 2

Thomas Martin Lofts 3

Thomas Martin Lofts 4

Thomas Martin Lofts 5

New England Aquarium’s proposal to build a “Blueway” could extend the Rose Kennedy Greenway 1,000 feet to the Waterfront

On March 2, the Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the rezoning of 42 acres of the Boston Waterfront.  However, somewhat lost in those plans was a proposal submitted by the New England Aquarium to create a “Blueway,” reports Tom Acitelli for Curbed.  The Blueway would span 1,000 feet from the Rose Kennedy Greenway to the edge of the water.

Rendering of the Blueway (CBT Architects).
Rendering of the Blueway (CBT Architects)

The Aquarium’s proposal is related to larger plans for the redevelopment of the Boston Harbor Garage as well as to the institution’s desire to expand its size over the next decade, reports Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe, which covers the proposal in detail.  By agreeing to the redevelopment of the garage — which may entail a new 600-foot tower — the Aquarium has sought to build support for the Blueway.  The Aquarium first put forth this proposal with the City of Boston and the Chiofaro Co., which is the Harbor Garage’s owner, in September 2016.  Now, with the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s recent approval, the project looks that much more likely.

"The Blueway"
Rendering from CBT Architects

Condominium Sales for Lovejoy Wharf Will Begin this April

Condominium sales for the Lovejoy Wharf building on the Waterfront are set to begin this April. Occupancy is slated for the summer of 2017.  The building has 15 stories and contains 157 condominium units, and also has ground-floor retail space, which will include a Waterfront restaurant.  In addition, the developer plans to build a Waterfront park.  Residences include studios-3 bedrooms, and pricing is expected to range from $750,000 to over $3,000,000.  The Lovejoy Wharf condos are being developed by Related Beal and designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects.  The development is located at 131 Beverly Street in the Bulfinch Triangle neighborhood of downtown Boston.

Lovejoy Wharf Condos Feature Unobstructed Views of the Harbor, Downtown, the Charles River, Cambridge and Other Landmarks

Amenities will include a 24-hour concierge, a fitness center, a resident lounge, a wharfside health club, a 12th-floor terrace with sweeping views of the water, a library lounge, a billiards room, a business center and a children’s room.  Some of the residences will have private outdoor terraces, and penthouse units will feature floor-to-ceiling windows.  State-of-the-art finishes and amenities, including 34-bottle wine coolers by Gaggenau and Kaldewei deep-soaking tubs, will be found in all of the residences.

Furthermore, all of the common amenity spaces and residences will feature unobstructed views of the Boston Harbor, downtown Boston, Cambridge, the Charles River and other landmarks, according to Bldup.

Rendering of Lovejoy Wharf condominium development at 131 Beverly Street. Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
Rendering of the Lovejoy Wharf condominium development at 131 Beverly Street. Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Lovejoy Wharf Offers a Convenient Location

Lovejoy Wharf does not include on-site parking, however there are multiple transit options in the immediate area.  The development is only a two-minute walk from North Station, which includes an MBTA subway, as well as an Amtrak terminal and an MBTA commuter train hub.  Nearby Hubway bike sharing stations will offer residents further convenience, and the area is very bicycle friendly.

Additionally, residents will have access to the addition of the Harborwalk located along Lovejoy Wharf now open to the public.  As Lovejoy Wharf is also home to the Converse headquarters, there is a Converse retail store located next to the Haborwalk.  Lovejoy Wharf is easily accessible to the West End, Beacon Hill and the North End.  Within short walking distance of the North End, residents will have access to more than 100 cafes, restaurants and shops.

Complimentary Buyer Representation for the Lovejoy Wharf Condominiums

For Buyer representation, please contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.

Proposed One Charlestown Development Will Add 3,200 New Units of Mixed-Income Housing

Currently under review by the BRA, the proposed One Charlestown development involves the redevelopment of the existing Bunker Hill Apartments in Charlestown, a 13 block site that houses 1,100 affordable housing units built in 1941.  The development team for One Charlestown, led by Corcoran-SunCal, proposes the demolition of the current affordable housing units and the building of 3,200 units of mixed-income housing.  All of the 1,100 affordable housing units would be replaced.  In addition, the proposal calls for 100,000 square feet of new retail/civic space, as well as off-street parking and new public open space.  The retail space would be located on Bunker Hill Street.

Mixed-income housing

The One Charlestown development would maintain the same number of affordable housing units, while adding 2,100 market-rate and workforce housing units.  All of the new affordable units (1,100) would be built to the same design standards as the market-rate apartments, and would feature the same finishes. Market-rate and affordable units would also be in the same buildings.

One Charlestown
Rendering of the proposed One Charlestown development.  Address: 55 Bunker Hill Street.  Urban Designer and Lead Architect: Stantec.

One Charlestown Design Approach

The development proposal offers a range of public area improvements.  One of the major goals of the development team is to create a “safe, walkable and inviting neighborhood” (per the One Charlestown website).  The project would “create a new line of connection along Bunker Hill Street with active storefronts, landscaping, and a restored street grid” (per the One Charlestown website).  Click here for an image of the restored street grid with improvements made in terms of connectivity, walkability and bicycle access  (image from the One Charlestown website).  The project would also knit together Charlestown’s rich historical legacy, dating back to the Revolutionary War period, by integrating some of these prominent historical events into the project’s landscape architecture and cultural programming.

In addition, One Charlestown would create new public gathering spaces, including two new neighborhood parks.  One of these areas would be a public square on Monument Street, called “Bunker Hill Square,” that would reflect on Charlestown’s history.  The other park would serve as a common gathering area for residents.  Called the “Bunker Hill Commons,” the park would be located in the interior of the project site.

Construction Timeline and More Information

Per the BRA, “The Project will be constructed on a rolling basis in multiple phases over an approximately 10-year period.”  For more information on the proposed One Charlestown development, please contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.

Edison on First: New condos in South Boston

Edison on First is a new construction mid-rise luxury condominium building located in South Boston on 621 East 1st.  The complex is scheduled for completion this Spring.  The building has four stories and contains 28 units, comprised of 1-3 bedroom condominium homes.  Homes have expansive open floor plans, custom appointed kitchens, and a mix of traditional and modern features.  Kitchens have 10 foot floating islands and Sub-Zero Wolf commercial grade appliances.

Features include king size bedrooms, hardwood floors, custom closets, audio package, wet bars, soaking tubs, large offices, and most iconic coffered ceilings and millwork.

Edison on First Features Garage Parking and Private Decks

Additional amenities and features include laundry, central air, garage parking, private decks, and commanding roof decks.  The building is also equipped with boutique common areas and has an elevator and common roof deck.  Condo owners can purchase additional garage parking for 100K.

Pricing from 649K-1.79M.

Complimentary Buyer Representation

To learn more about Edison on First, please contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.  We offer complimentary buyer representation.

Below have a look at some photos of Edison on First:

Edison on First: South Boston New Condos

Edison on First

Edison on First

Edison on First

Edison on First private deck

Washington Village in South Boston

Per the BRA, Washington Village will be a five-acre mixed-use project in South Boston close to the MBTA Andrew Station on the Red Line.  The development will consist of eight buildings housing 656 apartments and condos.  Units will range from studios through three-bedrooms, which will be available to rent and own.  The eight buildings will range in height from three and four stories to 21 stories.  The buildings will be built in three phases.  Additionally, the development will feature 98,600 square feet of retail space. Altogether the development will have 650 parking spaces intended to accommodate residents and retail customers.

Washington Village is one of the largest approved residential projects in Boston

In addition to being one of the largest recently approved residential projects in the city, Washington Village is also notable in terms of its variety of housing types and price points.  Of the 656 units, 110 of them (17 percent) will be designated as deed-restricted below market rates.  This proportion of income-restricted units exceeds Boston’s affordable housing requirements, while being in accordance with the PLAN: Dot Ave initiative.

Washington Village
Rendering of Washington Village development in South Boston.  Architect: Prellwitz Chilinski Associates.  Washington Village will feature many open spaces, including a 1.5 acre public plaza and green.

New open spaces and retail space

The project will add new open spaces totaling 42,500 square feet.  These spaces will consist of pedestrian plazas, landscaped areas and a roadway network.  The roadway network is being designed to “complement the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood” (per the BRA).

The retail portion of Washington Village is likely to include restaurants, cafes, a grocery store and a pharmacy.  Construction of Washington Village is expected to be completed in 2021.

Washington Village in South Boston
Rendering of Washington Village development in South Boston.  Architect: Prellwitz Chilinski Associates.

Complimentary Buyer Representation

For more information about Washington Village, please contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.

Coldwell Banker Releases “Boston Condo Market Report: January-December 2016”

Coldwell Banker recently released its “Boston Condo Market Report: January-December 2016,” based on data from MLS.  The report provides a detailed overview of key market trends for Boston neighborhoods.  Neighborhoods include Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, East Boston, Midtown, the North End, the Seaport, South Boston, the South End, the Waterfront as well as the Luxury $2M+ Condo Market segment.  The report considers such market trends as total market volume, total number of listings, average days on the market, average sale price and average price per square foot.

Most notably, all neighborhoods saw increases year over year in the average sale price and the average price per square foot for sold condominiums.  The downtown Boston condo market, in particular, had a strong year.  Buoyed by Millennium Tower, Midtown saw the most significant increase in the average sale price in 2016 ($2,337,949), a 47 percent increase from January-December 2015.  The Seaport District — assisted by 22 Liberty — also saw substantial increases in the average sale price and the average sale price per square foot.

Neighborhoods by Percentage Increase in Average Sale Price:

  1. Midtown ($2,337,949) +47% from January-December 2015
  2. Seaport ($1,279,791) +34%
  3. East Boston ($424,173) +18%
  4. Beacon Hill ($978,018) +16%
  5. Luxury $2M+ ($3,529,537) +15%
  6. South Boston ($683,655) +15%
  7. North End ($623,188) +13%
  8. Charlestown ($695,332) +8%
  9. South End ($1,042,375) +6%
  10.  Back Bay ($1,682,258) +4%
  11.  Waterfront ($1,214,463) +3%

Neighborhoods by Average Sale Price Per Square Foot:

  1. Luxury $2M+ ($1,506)
  2. Midtown ($1,382)
  3. Back Bay ($1,136)
  4. Seaport ($1,005)
  5. Beacon Hill ($986)
  6. Waterfront ($947)
  7. South End ($895)
  8. North End ($833)
  9. Charlestown ($644)
  10.  South Boston ($614)
  11.  East Boston ($473)

Click here for report!

For more information on the Boston condo market, don’t hesitate to contact the Gollinger Team of Coldwell Banker.