North End, Massachusetts, Real Estate Overview
This richly historic neighborhood boasts amazing real estate and rental opportunities. At any given moment, tons of apartments, condos, single-family homes, commercial properties and other types of real estate are available. The issue, however, is obtaining accurate information regarding North End real estate, and that's where Boston City Properties comes in. Our constantly updated listings quickly bring you up to speed on available offerings, and our experienced real estate pros are always available to provide additional help.
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Known for its rich history, the North End offers a number of excellent rentals and real estate opportunities. There are a number of commercial properties, apartments, single-family homes and condos on the marketplace at any point in time. Whether you are looking for a new investment property or just want to buy a home, you can find the options you need within this neighborhood.
Right now, the real estate market is ideal for sellers. Home prices are stable, but the current inventory does not meet the demand for real estate properties. Sellers are generally able to get their asking price within this vibrant neighborhood. With low mortgage rates right now, any moderate-income households are entering the marketplace. The median home price is at $825,00. A little over a year ago, home prices were at around $500,000. The homes' values keep rising because many buyers want to get into a marketplace. Buyers have to make a quick offer if they want to get the right property, and some properties even start bidding wars.
Buying a Home Is Better Than Renting
With low mortgage rates and rising prices, qualified buyers will find that paying a fixed mortgage is much cheaper than paying for rent. In most cases, buyers can find a larger house for the price it would cost to rent a smaller unit. Because of its popularity, this section tends to have higher price tags than the rest of Boston. The desirability of these homes means that investors can often turn a profit on a property they only purchased a couple of years ago. Properties can be found for anywhere from $400,000 on up. It all depends on the buyer's personal preferences and budget.
The real estate trend for the area indicates a growing marketplace. In 2015, prices advanced by 12 percent. This trend is only expected to continue as buyers look for homes outside of downtown Boston that still offer an easy commute to the city.
The Real Estate Market
Currently, the median home price is at $705,000. This is an increase of 24.1 percent or $136,750 from last year. One-bedroom units sell for a median price of $480,500. Meanwhile, two-bedroom homes fetch a median price of $859,000. The average price per square foot advanced from $822 a year ago to $852 this year.
Known as the city's oldest residential community, North End has been continuously occupied since it was first settled in the 1630s. Spanning 0.36 square miles, this city has a number of commercial enterprises around Hanover Street. It is bordered by Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street with Washington Street on the western edge. Residents can find many homes placed along the quaint, narrow streets.
Because of the neighborhood's age, many of the homes are older than any that you can find in Boston. The homes consist of walk-up buildings and cozy layouts. The housing stock includes Federal Style and Post-Medieval homes.
History is everywhere within the North End. Historic cemeteries, the Old North Church and Paul Revere's House are just a few of the historic landmarks. For residents, the number of historic rentals and properties is another major draw for the area. Property within this neighborhood varies greatly in availability and price. This exciting neighborhood is full of character, but space is at a premium. The winding streets have few parking spots, so commuters might want to look for listings that offer off-street parking or deeded parking spaces. Most listings do not include off-street parking, so it is important to consider where you will park when you look for a home.
While some of the homes are relatively quiet, the number of festivals and tourist attractions in the area means that visitors often fill the streets. Today, 10,000 residents call this area home. This thriving community is home to part of the Freedom Trail and numerous play areas. Known for being a safe area, this historic neighborhood is bounded on the north and east by the Boston Harbor. Within the neighborhood, the Waterfront forms a sub-neighborhood around Long Wharf. This area is home to wharf buildings, parks and a large residential population. Developments to the south of the New England Aquarium are often called the Wharf District.
The commercial center is located around Hanover Street. This is the area where investors can buy up restaurants, shops and other pieces of commercial real estate. In the old North End around North Margin Street and Endicott Street, residents can find dense residential housing with classic tenement buildings. Luxury properties and historic buildings can be found at Copp's Hill, which serves as the neighborhood's highest point.
The architectural character of the building has been limited by zoning regulations that have been in place for generations. Long ago, it was decided that no building could be constructed higher that the Old North Church's spire. Today, zoning rules say that no building can stand taller than 55 feet high. Architecture in the community varies from classic tenement buildings to colonial-era architecture. The neighborhood has a European ambiance with a distinct maritime influence around the harbor's wharves.
Over time, the prices for the Waterfront and the North End have gradually grown closer together. In January 2018, the average price for a market-rate home in the Waterfront was $1,031 per square foot. Depending on the home, the price ranges from $683 to $1,401. Meanwhile, North End had an average price of $961 per square foot. This figure comes from a range of $544 to $1,348 per square foot. Pricing for the two neighborhoods has gradually grown closer over time. Fueled by similar amenities and their proximity to each other, the prices are only expected to grow closer in the future.
Developments in the Neighborhood
Recently, the city committed to spending $2.5 million on renovating the North Square next to the Paul Revere House. This renovation will involve replacing cobblestones, revamping the lighting, adjusting street grades and increasing disability access. This will be the first refurbishment for North Square since the 1970s. The square dates back to the middle of the 16th century.
While the project is expected to finish by the end of 2018, a recent discovery temporarily slowed the work. Archaeologists found European-produced artifacts in the ground around the Paul Revere House. These artifacts may be the oldest to ever be discovered in Boston from early Europeans. The pieces of ceramic were created in northern Italy before 1650.The dig was sponsored by the city before the start of construction on the North Square.
The building next door to the 18th-century Paul Revere House is also getting redeveloped. Th Paul Revere Memorial Association is currently trying to raise $10,000 to convert the building that is adjacent to the home's courtyard. If the fundraising is successful, the building will be converted into an Education and Visitor Center. Built in 1835, this building will one day encompass exhibit areas, family programs, a museum shop and restrooms. It was previously renovated on the exterior back in 2010.
More developments may potentially be underway at Boston's Long Wharf, but they must first get the approval of the Supreme Judicial Court. The proposed development would be a part of an urban renewal push for an open-sided pavilion and an expanded commercial area. If the plan is approved, it will include a tavern, a restaurant and outdoor seating.
For ocean lovers, one popular development was recently featured in a Channel 5 News segment about recycled properties in Boston. Lincoln Wharf was originally built in 1901 to be the home of the MBTA Power Station. Placed on Boston Harbor, the historic property is placed between Burroughs Wharf, Battery Wharf and Union Wharf. This desirably placed building was later converted into 191 condominiums in 1987. Today, it is home to a harbor-side garden, 24-hour concierge, common laundry on every floor, a lending library, private storage for each unit and a fitness center.
The condominiums at the property are offered in one- to three-bedroom layouts. Many of the units face the harbor, and upper-floor units boast of balconies. In addition, the condominium includes a common atrium for meetings and leisure time. The modern building may have luxury amenities, but it was redesigned in a way that preserved the historic space.
Another upcoming development is in the works at Hanover and Salem Street. The Cross Street development will ultimately be 5,500 square feet in three different buildings. These buildings will become the gateway to the north end if they are approved. The new construction will take place at 198 Hanover Street, 53 Salem Street and 60 Cross Street. At 53 Salem Street, the ground floor will be designed to host a retail or restaurant tenant. The project is currently in the planning and approval stages, so it may be a few years before the gateway to the North End is completed.
At Lovejoy Wharf, new condo sales are underway. The 15-story building is located between the Charlestown and Zakim bridges. The entire building includes 157 units that start at $750,000. A typical two-bedroom, two-bathroom home can cost around $1,495,000. The entire property is equipped with a fitness center and concierge services. While the Lovejoy Wharf building does not include parking spaces, there will be parking spaces available for rent at Beverly at 101 Beverly Street nearby. The new parking garage and the condos are both constructed by the same developer.
Recent Sales in the North End
One of the most famous sales in the last year was at 44 Hull Street. Known as the Spite House or the Skinny House, this property first hit the marketplace in April 2017. It sold in a little over a month for $900,000. The owner originally asked $895,000 for the building, so the buyer must have been exceptionally motivated. Spanning 1,116 square feet in size, this property is a maximum of 10.4 feet at its widest. At its narrowest, it is only 5 feet wide.
According to legend, the property was built after the Civil War. Two brothers owned the land together. While one brother was away and fighting in the Civil War, the other brother built a large house that took almost all of the land. Out of spite, the returning soldier built a sliver of a house to block the other brother's view and light. Since the home first appeared in historical records in the 1870s, there might be some truth behind the legend. Today, it remains one of the most famous of the North End's real estate properties.
This last year also marked the sale of Patrice Bergeron's condominium. The Canadian-born Boston Bruins player lived at 234 Causeway Street #1109. The property was originally listed for $1,599,000. Built in 2003, it has floor-to-ceiling windows, amazing views, contemporary designs and a wine fridge. The entire condominium is served by valet parking, 24-hour concierge, a fitness center and deeded storage. In April 2017, Bergeron's condominium ended up selling for $1,600,000.
During the last month of 2017, there were a number of residential real estate closings in the North End. While there were a few properties for under $699,999, most properties were sold for $700,000 or more. At the bottom end of the price range, residents will discover homes like 46 Lewis #10. This condominium spans just 391 square feet and sold for $400,000. The cheapest two-bedroom unit was $591,000. Placed at 350 North #600, this unit included 927 square feet.
The month of December saw an impressive number of properties sell at Lovejoy Wharf. This new development sold studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominiums. These ranged in price from $625,000 to $1,825,000.
In comparison, a one-bedroom at 85 East India Row #22G sold for $659,000. Condominiums at properties like the Prince Building, Battery Wharf, Rowes Wharf and Lewis Wharf also saw sales in December. At 279 North, a five-unit building sold for $2,050,000. This multi-family dwelling spans a total of 3,760 square feet. Placed near the waterfront, 279 North included a total of eight bedrooms on a 4,791-square-foot lot. Constructed in 1900, it has been maintained and renovated over the years for a thoroughly modern renting experience.
Discovering the right property is a necessity whether you are investing or just want to find your next home. If you need help finding a property, call us. We have experts in the North End area that can help you find the real estate property that suits your needs.