Monday, February 1, 2016

Flipping Over Into February

"Unlike a decade ago, buyers are seeking places to live, rather speculative investments to flip."

How quickly things change. 

Should have went condo:

"Seaport’s newest high-end address already sees units resold" by Tim Logan Globe Staff  January 26, 2016

Boston’s high-end housing market is so hot these days even new condos that haven’t been lived in yet are being flipped for big profits.

That’s what happened at 22 Liberty, a new glass-walled condo building on Fan Pier with views of the harbor and the downtown skyline. Six of the 118 units were sold by their original buyers before the building even opened at the start of this year — each one for at least $500,000 above the original price. Five more units are currently listed for sale.

Such flips are not uncommon in similar buildings, but what is notable are the high prices being paid, according to real estate brokers.

Every flipper netted double-digit returns on the briefly owned condos, according to deeds filed in Suffolk County. A 10th-floor unit that was bought for $4.6 million was resold at $5.7 million.

And the units now on the market could fetch even greater profits: One penthouse unit — advertised as “a truly rare opportunity in Boston’s newest and most sought after luxury address” — is listed at just under $5.8 million, or 39 percent more than its current owner paid.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like that in Boston,” said Debra Taylor Blair, president of the real estate data firm LINK, who has tracked the city’s luxury housing market for a quarter-century.

The biggest sale recorded was to a holding company controlled by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, which paid $12.1 million for a pair of penthouses.

I'm sure it's some sort of tax shelter for the King of Ma$$achu$etts.

Other boldface names in the building include technology entrepreneur Paul English and Vertex Pharmaceuticals founder Josh Boger. At least 20 units, including many of the priciest, were bought through trusts or limited liability companies that keep buyer’s names out of public records.

Most of the buyers, developer Joe Fallon said, are well-off suburban empty-nesters who want to move to the city. “A lot of sales came through word-of-mouth.”

He's one of the powers behind the throne, so to $peak.

Several of the people who bought and sold quickly either declined to comment or did not respond to messages from the Globe.

They wouldn't word-of-mouth to the Globe?

According to public records they include an orthodontist, a telecom executive, and the retired owner of a printing company in Maine. None have the renown of some of the building’s bigger names. Most, Fallon said, had “life changes” — such as a new job out of Boston — after they had signed a purchase agreement and decided to sell. Finding new buyers wasn’t hard, he said. The building had a sizable waiting list. “There’s very strong demand,” Fallon said.

Still, the prices the flipped units are fetching — $2,000 or more per square foot, according to LINK — will set a new standard for prime luxury condos, Sue Hawkes, president of the real estate marketing firm The Collaborative Cos., said.

As for those who bought and sold quick, Hawkes noted, they made out well. Every one of them so far, according to the public records, has cleared at least $500,000 above the original price.

“No matter why they bought or sold them,” Hawkes said, “that’s not a bad investment.”

Until the bubble pops, right?


There is something I'd like to flip toward the Bo$ton Globe, if you know what I mean.

NDUs: Mass. home foreclosures rose in 2015, though remain low overall

Makes you want to you know.... not want to read the goddamn thing anymore.

UPDATE: Where high-end condos rise, high-end appliances follow