Sold! The $1.3 Million+ Housing Market

The economy may still seem slow, but in the realm of high-end housing sales around here, things have been brisk. In the past month alone, 30 homes in the Boston area and the three towns represented below have closed (sold) at or above $1.3 million. We all want to see how the other half — including that proverbial “one percent” — lives, so let’s take a look at some of these properties and their histories. In coming posts, we’ll also be examining other price ranges.

For now, let’s start in Boston and head west down Route 2, shall we? (Photos and information provided by listing brokerages via Multiple Listing Service [MLS].)

Beacon Hill Townhouse $1,475,000

This is an attached single-family house (not a condo) at 128 Myrtle Street, off of Charles St. 1770 square feet; a rear deck; six rooms, three bedrooms, three baths; two fireplaces. Included in the listing was six months of rented garage parking. Listing brokerage was Coldwell Banker. Selling brokerage was Ballast Realty Group. It started at $1,539,000 in October of 2010, though it had been on the market for a few months in 2006, priced at $1,695,000, with another brokerage.


Avon Hill, Cambridge $2,104,200

Avon Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods, tucked between Mass. Ave and Garden Street, and home to some of the most lovely Cambridge houses this side of Brattle Street. And apparently I am not the only one who feels the pull: this house was listed for $2,000,000 and sold in five days for $2,104,200. However, the previous sale was in 2006 for $2,150,000. There are some bold-looking design choices here, such as the exposed rafters in this photo, and the house has been renovated, opening up the floor plan with a stunning kitchen. Overall, nine rooms, four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths; 3367 square feet (according to public record); a 4250 s.f. lot with a garage. Listed by Coldwell Banker. Sold by Hammond Residential.


Munroe Hill Lexington $1,340,000

Munroe Hill was laid out in 1891, making it one of the area’s first sub-developments. It was not a speculative development, however. The lots were sold off to merchants and professionals who were making their way to the western towns near Boston as the rail line extended out from the city, establishing suburbs in colonial farming towns. Buyers had to commit to building homes with a minimum of $3,500 construction cost. The lots are generous by Lexington standards, and the homes tend to be grand. With mostly large, renovated homes in close proximity to Lexington Center, the neighborhood is as desirable now as it was fashionable then.

This house is in a particularly lovely siting, with a long driveway and lush gardens with a very nice swimming pool. Thirteen rooms, six bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths; 4113 square feet, all on three-quarters of an acre. The house had retained its period charm, but needed some updating. The listing started out in June for $1,549,000, was reduced twice more, eventually to $1,399,000. The listing brokerage was Hammond Residential and the selling brokerage was Andrew Mitchell & Company, LLC.


Revolutionary Ridge, Concord $1,850,000

“Revolutionary Ridge” may bring unpleasant echoes of Richard Yates’ suburban nightmare novel, Revolutionary Road, and its 2008 film adaptation, but the residents up here above Concord Center probably don’t have as much ambivalence about their place here in well-t0-do Concord. This house is a nostalgic 2011 construction offered by a developer. The previous sale at this address was a $695,000 1930s “Nantucket Shingle Style” Cape. But nostalgia has its limits, apparently, because when a modest-sized old house sits on a three-quarter-acre lot in one of the area’s most desirable neighborhoods, it becomes known as a “tear-down.” The new builder here decided to go for a take on the old “big house, little house, barn” New England Farmhouse vernacular, and the end result is 4900 square foot home with ten rooms, nine bedro0ms, and three and a half baths. It started at the list price of $1,949,000 in April 2011 but was reduced to $1,888,000 in August 2011 (a whole lot of Feng Shui right there). Listing brokerage was JM Barrett & Co., Inc. Selling brokerage was Higgins Group Realtors.

Update: the Myrtle street house is located in Beacon Hill, not the Back Bay. This post has been updated to reflect that change. Thanks to commenter Karen for the correction!