Merrill Diamond (aka The Swami) Is Perfect With His 2012 Predictions

2013 Boston real estate predictionsAnyone Want Some Lucky Numbers For Powerball?

Not to be an “I told you so,” but if you review The Swami’s Predictions for 2012, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we’re dealing with a truly gifted prognosticator of all things real estate.  I would cite those very 2012 predictions that hardly require amplification or clarification:


Needless to say, the years between 2009 and 2012 did not bode well for condominium developers.  Due to the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, lenders became gun-shy of making loans related to for-sale properties or end loans for buyers of those properties.  In fact, almost all of the significant multifamily projects that were on the boards or in construction in the greater Boston area during that period were apartment projects for which construction financing was plentiful and end loans not needed.  Further, the uncertainty surrounding the country’s economy provided fertile ground for a huge market of renters who were either unable to purchase or, in many cases, put off purchasing until the economy improved.  That said, there are now condominiums being planned and Charing Cross, once the loneliest pending project in the area because it is entirely condominiums, is being joined by other condominium projects being planned for the greater Boston area.

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.


Does anyone doubt that, in addition to the continuing saga of the emergence of The Waterfront as a desirable place to live, the biggest story of 2012 is the 180 degree turnaround of the image of Downtown Crossing?   With the resumption of planning and construction of the long-delayed Filene’s site, and with the promise of more residential construction to come, is it any wonder that Walgreen’s decided in 2012 to move forward with a Super Store to serve the diverse needs of a brand new residential community?  With full disclosure that we are long-time friends, I have to credit the Epstein Brothers, Robert and David (and the members of their respective families who work with them) with having the foresight to know what Downtown Crossing could become, with having the experience to develop 45 Province Street into, in my opinion, the best-designed new contemporary residential building in Boston in a long time, and with having the talent and determination to hold the course while the economy recovered.  Little wonder why sales are surging at 45 Province, the Queen of the 3 Sisters as the neighborhood has changed enormously over the past year.

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.


There is little doubt that 2012 was the year when the economy started to make sustained gains in unemployment, job creation and a general feeling on the part of the American consumer that the worst is finally over.  To the extent that the real estate market tends to drive the economy, the past year has seen story after story about shrinking foreclosed inventory, the increase in residential prices and sales and the relentless re-energizing of the for-sale market, especially condominiums in the Greater Boston area.  In fact, regarding both the single-family market and the condominium market in this area, old-fashioned bidding wars have broken out with asking prices being exceeded by anxious buyers who have been faced with a lack of available inventory over the past year – the result of people wanting to ride the burgeoning escalation of prices instead of languishing in their inability to sell their homes and condominiums due to the economy.

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.


This was a no-brainer, from the misreading of new American voter by the Republicans as evidenced by putting forth former Governor Mitt Romney as their candidate to stressing political issues from which the American electorate has subordinated, at least for now, to the growth of the economy.  Yes, once again, “It’s the economy, stupid,” became the mantra for the President as the unemployment numbers and job creation numbers began to climb just when the Republicans counted on them to fall.  The result was predictable as millions of Americans started to see “some light at the end of the tunnel” (metaphor Number 1) and opted “not to change horses mid-stream” (metaphor Number 2), especially while the numbers continued to favor the incumbent.

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.


Who among us who attended the ULI Symposium last February that focused on “Gen X and Gen Y: The future of Residential in Greater Boston,” can ever forget that wise old iconoclast, Merrill H. Diamond, warning about the coming glut of apartments as developers find that there are fewer wealth renters than everyone anticipates and the coming renaissance of the condominium movement as people realize that they can own for the same cost as renting?  With the latter becoming financeable for both developers and their buyers, we are now seeing the beginning of a wave of residential buildings, first programmed as condominiums, then changed to apartments, and now being re-programmed as condominiums (the original strategy in many cases, but accelerated beyond anyone’s expectations).

As last year’s predictions noted, and I quote, “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.”  That happened.  Just like the Swami said it would.

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.

*     *     *

Once again, I implore my faithful readers (both of them?) to consider the above and to take the plunge towards condominium living.  It’s a great time to buy and, as historically has been the case, to build up equity in your home that doesn’t exist in a rental scenario.  Yes, The American Dream of home ownership is alive and well, especially in the Boston area.

This coming year will see the ground-breaking of many new condominium buildings, none the least of which will be the much-heralded Charing Cross at 1501 Commonwealth Avenue, located in one of the City’s best known secrets, the new “hot spot” that is Brighton.  Riding a wave of nearby residential rental construction championed by developer Bruce Perceley, Brighton is likely to become THE NEXT BIG THING (stay tuned) and Charing Cross will be the first of a number of new condominium buildings to take advantage of great skyline views of downtown Boston, reasonable pricing for a beautiful building with garaged parking, and easy in/easy out from Boston and to the west by both public and private transportation.  Is it any wonder that such an experienced developer such as Diamond Sinacori has another property, 1650 Commonwealth Avenue, under Agreement?

And, as always, when inquiring about Charing Cross, don’t forget to tell them that The Swami sent you.  A prediction: It will be worth your while to do so…

More on this in my upcoming blog, THE RETURN OF THE SWAMI: PREDICTIONS FOR 2013.


Tags: , ,

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".

One Response to “Merrill Diamond (aka The Swami) Is Perfect With His 2012 Predictions”

  1. Jen Faigel January 13, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    “The Dude abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there.” — from The Big Lebowski, but seems appropos for the Swami!

Leave a Reply