From today’s Herald:

The average price of a harborside condo perch plunged nearly 40 percent during the first quarter compared to the same period last year, falling to an average of $564,944, according to the Listing Information Network, or LINK.

That’s down from $902,644 in the first three months of 2005, widely considered to be the high-water-mark of the recent, record run-up in real estate prices, statistics show. The price declines came even as the number of waterfront condos sold more than doubled, to 86.

The disturbing data, though, emerges against a backdrop of frenzied construction activity, with developers racing to open a pair of glitzy new waterfront towers, one near Rowes Wharf and the other on the North End’s harborfront.

Well … this isn’t a very good article. It’s very deceptive.

Yes, the average price of Waterfront condos fell 40% (I didn’t do the numbers, but I have no doubt that this is true).

And, a second fact. The number of condo sales did more than double, quarter-to-quarter.

But, the question is, why did this happen?

Well, it’s because 96 units that were for sale at a development known as Folio Boston, closed. A development that had units for sale between $300,000 and $900,000 (and, also, some “affordable housing” units that sold for around $160,000 (I’m not kidding)). A development where most closings occurred in the first quarter, 2006.

That’s why the average price went down. (Removing the Folio sales would also improve the “average days on market” number, since many of those listings were put into LINK back when the property was under construction.)

If you remove the sales at Folio, you’ll see that there were about the same number of sales, each year.

The other mistake the reporter makes is using “asking price” on the sales, not “actual sales price”. The actual sales price may have been lower, in fact, this year.

I’m very disappointed that Scott Van Voorhis would do this, and, actually, a little disappointed that the people at LINK would allow their data to be used, in such a duplicitous manner.

More information: Waterfront condo woes: Average price 40 percent less than ’05 – By Scott Van Voorhis, The Boston Herald

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