Boston has come in third of the top 5 cities voted to be “The Best Cities for Young Adults”, according to Kiplinger Magazine. Boston always ranks high on this list for its sheer number of young people living there at the present, University Students and Young Professionals. The city is a center of finance, education and health care and has an unemployment rates lower than the average for the rest of the country. Students come to Boston from all over the world, attend one of the many colleges and universities and end up not wanting to leave and usually make this their permanent home after graduating. There is plenty of great restaurants, entertainment options, nightspots and bars to keep them happy here. The rental market is great with many older renovated units available along with the many new apartment developments nearing completion and coming out of the planning department on a monthly basis.
Home owners who are 62 and older can apply for what is called a ‘reverse mortgage.’ Reversed mortgages have been around for several years now and thousands have applied and received reverse mortgages on their homes. A reverse mortgage is designed for people who are 62 or older to borrow equity in their homes and then receive monthly payments until they move or die. There are no monthly payments, but the property taxes, insurance and any maintenance costs all have to be paid, and paid on time. Many see this as a good retirement income.
According to the National Association of Realtors, defaults on these loans are now hitting all time records and are also being blamed for many senior citizens loosing their homes. With the increase of defauolts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now working on new rules for improving the disclosure of these reverse mortgages and the hidden risks, as well as better overall supervision of the lenders who issue these loans.
Even with the job market remaining somewhat on the lackluster side, certain real estate markets continue to sputter along with some markets showing signs of gaining strength in the Boston area.
Overall real estate investment activity remained fairly robust as reflected in the recent $2 Million sale of the Flex One Bldg. in the New Bedford Business Park and the $1.7 Million sale of the Candleworks Office Bldg. in downtown New Bedford.
Multifamily properties have been leading the real estate recovery, with year over year rental growth of about 4%-5% in 2012, according to CBRE Econometric Advisors. Rent growth for multifamily properties is strong in virtually all markets, with half already exceeding prior peak rents.
Office properties placed second nationwide, with office vacancies declining from 16.5% in the forth quarter of 2010, to 16% in the forth quarter of 2011. Rents in the office sector increased by 3 percent during 2011. The Industrial sector has continued to show improvement with the Retail sector showing about the same vacancy rates.
Depending on investors’ risk tolerance, investment experts say there are some good opportunities to be had for sure. Careful selection and attention to solid fundamentals is the rule of the day in this protracted real estate recovery.
Many visitors and even some residents have asked about the Main Streets program in Boston. What is it? What is it’s purpose?
The overall goal of the Boston Main Streets program is to improve the overall quality of life in the many diverse Boston neighborhoods. The vitality of a neighborhood’s business district and commercial areas is critical to the overall health of the neighborhood as a whole. For that reason all sectors of the community are involved with each Main Street organization.
Boston has established ‘Boston Main Streets’ program, a successful model for any urban commercial district revitalization. It strengthens the local business districts through strong organizational development, community participation, resident and merchant education and sustainable development. The many Main Streets events and promotions have fostered a new community pride and spirit. Boston Main Streets has learned from experience that government can not do everything, and each community must take the leadership role in shaping the character of their neighborhood.