Longwood Towers Condos in Brookline to be auctioned

Posted by Michael DiMella on Tue, Mar 10, 2009

Longwood Towers (at 20 Chapel Street in Brookline, map below) is set to auction off 40 of the condos available for sale on Sunday, April 4th.  The complex consists of 249 total units over 3 buildings, only 78 of which have been sold to date in 2 of the 3 buildings (renovations, and sales, have not yet begun in the third building).  The building has had it's fair share of troubles, including slow sales that caused the original developer be foreclosed on.  The Boston Globe ran an article today about the situation:

The 4-acre complex was purchased for $105 million in 2005 by the Radco Cos. of Atlanta, with plans for a $30 million renovation. IStar Financial, which held the mortgage to Radco, acquired the property at auction last year through a subsidiary, after Radco and its partner could not afford to complete renovations.  The iStar subsidiary, 20 Chapel Street Lender LLC, has continued to make upgrades.

The owner of the Brookline complex, New-York based iStar Financial, is holding an auction April 4 to sell 40 units in one of Longwood's three towers. The auctioneers said starting bids sought for the units will be as much as 59 percent below the previous asking prices for condos at the Chatham Tower.

Organizers say the two-hour auction is meant to spur sales and reduce inventory. Minimum bids start at $199,000 for studio apartments, $335,000 for two-bedroom units, and $860,000 for three-bedroom units in the Tudor-style building that boasts a concierge, a doorman, and stunning views of downtown Boston.

The auction will be held April 4th at the Westin Hotel in Copley Square from 12 noon to 3pm.

 

But are these condos really a good deal?  The auction minimum bids do look attractive compared to the market data I have presented below, but without knowing what they will finally sell for at the auction, it's impossible to say.  But here's some research (on zip code 02446) to see what is going on in the market  in case you may be interested in the auction or a condo in Brookline in general.  I highlight what I think are some key measures on the market in this post, but there's also plenty more where that came from.  Just contact me if you need more auction information, stats, or advice!

 

FYI: The top 5 graphs are "real-time" on market data showing data from active condo listings in the area.  Then the chart at the bottom shows sold data from the past couple of years.  

 

Real Time Active Market Condo Stats for Brookline (02446 zip code):

Median list prices for condos graphed over the past 2 years:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Average days on market for the past 2 years:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Number of active units for sale over the past 2 years:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Median asking price per square foot over the past 2 years:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Percentage of units on the market that have had a price decrease over the past 2 years:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Now for the SOLD DATA:

I broke 2007 and 2008 into parts to look at the first half of each year compared to the second half.  Overall for 2008, the number of sales was down substantially for Brookline (02446) - about 30% down in fact.  But prices remained relatively stable, down only about 2% overall for the year.  And now, so far in 2009 (surprisingly to me), prices are up.   This definitely reflects the small sample set due to the low number of transactions, but is interesting nonetheless. 

 Jan-Jun 2007
Jul-Dec 2007
Jan-Jun 2008
Jul-Dec 2008

YTD 2009

# of Sales
 206 194 133 143 25
Avg Sale Price  $514,292 $521,396 $499,545 $529,155 $625,198

Avg Sale Price/Sq Ft

 $459 $451 $445 $458 $442
Days on Mkt 95 74 97 84 64

 

Map of Longwood Towers in Brookline:

View Larger Map

 


 

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Tags: buying, brookline, auction