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THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: Predictions for 2012 | IGNITION Residential

THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: Predictions for 2012

The SwamiDue to popular demand (thanks, Mom), The Swami is back, gazing into the future to inform the true believers about real estate trends almost certain to emerge or flourish in 2012.
Without further adieu and amid a growing avalanche of applause, here are 5 sure bets:

 1. The Condominium Market Returns

Two substantial condominium developments are moving towards reality following years of the residential landscape being dominated by rental developments.  One was recently announced as an addition to the Boston waterfront.  The other, Charing Cross, a 55 unit condominium building on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton, is moving through the City’s Article 80 process and is scheduled to break ground this year.  The world of residential development finds itself normalizing in 2012 as, among other things, renters begin to realize that they can buy for the same money that they’re spending or are about to spend on rent.

 2. Downtown Crossing Becomes The Next Big Thing

With the announcement that Millennium Partners will take the lead role in finally revitalizing the long-dormant hole in Downtown Crossing, the area received the long-awaited shot in the arm that it needed.  Despite what I consider to be a mistake in keeping the name “Downtown Crossing,” thus missing a chance to more fully re-brand an area that needs it (“Midtown” would have been a better choice), this area is Boston’s answer to Manhattan.  One can find some spectacular restaurants (Sam LaGrassa’s, for example) next to a coin shop next to The Marliave next to a baseball card store next to a…You get the idea.  Just like Manhattan.  And the big winner is going to be 45 Province, one of Boston’s best new condominium buildings and a true pioneer in a unique area that is about to explode in popularity.

 3. The Overall Economy Recovers

In the days of dangerous and poorly monitored coalmines, a canary in a cage was brought down to test the air quality at the bottom of the mine.  If the canary died, it was time to evacuate as soon as possible.  Architects are the canaries in the coalmine for the economy, and especially the overall construction and real estate industry.  Having recently lunched with the principals of a number of high-profile Boston A/E firms, they’re swamped with work.  Much of it is residential, but there’s a wide range of projects that should produce lots of cranes on the Boston skyline in the very near future.  That means a lot of construction and related jobs and a lot of folks spending money on things they’ve put off since 2008.  Things like condominiums.

 4. President Obama Is Re-Elected

Hey, I didn’t vote for the guy last time around.  I eschewed an opportunity to participate in an important historic moment and, instead, supported a world-class war hero who had years of experience in the ways that Washington actually works.  Yes, I held my nose regarding Sarah Palin and pulled the lever for Senator John McCain.  To me, he was the adult supervision in the race for the Presidency.  That said, the current crop of Republicans, regardless of who is nominated (it’s going to be Romney, by the way), have devoured themselves over the course of the past few months.  When a nominee does emerge, he will be running against an incumbent who will have overcome his most glaring weakness, his lack of experience.  As a result, this time, I’ll vote for President Obama.  Instead of holding my nose, I’ll cross my fingers…

 5. ULI Symposium Becomes Boston’s Hottest Free Ticket

By now, everyone in the world of Boston real estate has heard about the upcoming ULI Symposium to be held on Tuesday, 28 February, from 7:30 AM until 9:30 AM.  Named, Gen X and Gen Y: The Future of Residential in Greater Boston,” this important event will be hosted by the firm of Edwards Wildman at 111 Huntington Avenue and will address some very serious questions.  Among these are whether housing demand has changed in the new economy and whether the old dynamics of rent vs. buy, single family vs. condominiums, urban core vs. suburban neighborhoods have changed as a result of new demographics and economic realities.  Central to this discussion with be a segment dealing with the possibility that we’re “overbuilding” apartments.  And yes, yours truly will be one of the speakers at the event and taking the position that we definitely are overbuilding apartments and that fact, among others, is going to usher in a new age of condominium conversions and construction.

 

Well, that’s it for The Swami’s divining the future for 2012.  Yes, it’s a gift, but one that keeps on giving, especially if you subscribe to this blog. Remember, you heard it all here first…so consider becoming one of the smart buyers who are always ahead of the real estate curve.   In that regard, The Swami invites you to reserve a unit at Charing Cross when they first become available.

A final prediction:  These well-priced 2 BR/2 bath units with garaged parking and skyline views of Boston won’t be on the market long, especially when buyers see a true signature building rising at 1501 Commonwealth Avenue.  And remember to tell the Sales Staff that The Swami sent you…

 

Want to hear The Swami first hand?  See Merrill Diamond speak at the ULI Symposium “Gen X and Gen Y: The Future of Residential in Greater Boston” on February 28th.

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About Merrill Diamond

Merrill H. Diamond is a trained architect and a founding principal of IGNITION Residential, an interdisciplinary multi-family marketing firm. He is also a founding partner of Diamond/Sinacori, a Boston-based real estate development company founded in 1978. Mr. Diamond has been the recipient of numerous local and national awards for both development and marketing. He has served as both a gubernatorial appointee to the Massachusetts Historical Commission and to the Senate Special Commission on Historic Preservation. In addition, Mr. Diamond has been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Arthur Young / “Venture Magazine;” “Merchant Builder of the Year” by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), and one of “America’s Most Valuable People” by “USA Today".

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