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Luxury in the City: See what $5 million gets you (give or take a half million)

Buying Luxury Back Bay Cambridge South Boston South End
The living room features a gray sectional that defines the space and is bathed in natural light form a wall of black-framed windows. A candle-like chandelier hangs over the space. The rug is gray and white horizontal stripes. The space has a gas fireplace surrounded by board and batten wainscoting painted white.
This three-bedroom, three-bath condo at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, comes with a gas fireplace, a private balcony, and five-star amenities. Mike O'Donoghue

It’s a seller’s market.

“[Luxury] inventory is down 35 percent from a year ago; there’s less to choose from,” said Richard Ferrari, president and CEO of brokerage for Douglas Elliman in New York City and the Northeast Region. While there’s a shortage of new construction, mostly, Ferrari said, people simply aren’t selling.

“In the past when prices went up, owners cashed out, but that isn’t happening right now,” he said.

In Cambridge, the frenzy persists. “People feel comfortable in Cambridge in terms of COVID because there are large houses with yards,” said Victoria Kennedy of Gail Roberts, Ed Feijo & Team at Coldwell Banker. “Buyers are going through properties with architects, looking to put more money into them, so prices will get even higher [when they turn over].”

Those who relocated to second homes during the pandemic are back in town and looking to upgrade, contributing to the surge in demand. “They want extra home offices for themselves and their kids and a place to put their gym equipment,” Kennedy said.

As for luxury real estate in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, Kevin Caulfield, managing director at Compass, notes that according to the Multiple Listing Service, three times as many homes costing $10 million or more sold/went under agreement in 2021 compared with the year prior.

His predictions for the spring market?

“I’m hoping this latest wave of COVID won’t affect it.”

Here’s a look at four stunning luxury properties that have hit the market in Boston and Cambridge:

$4,750,000

776 Boylston St., Unit E9F, Back Bay

Year built 2008
Square footage 2,600
Bedrooms 3
Baths 3 full
Taxes $45,470 (2021)
Fee $5,403
Last sold for $4,850,000 in 2018
Listing agent contact info Joshua Trinh, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, 556 Tremont St., Boston, 617-426-6900, gibsonsothebysrealty.com

Tall windows and a private balcony, all with city views looking south, line the open living space in this corner unit at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boston. A gas fireplace anchors the seating area, while a sleek kitchen with Poggenpohl cabinetry and chef-grade appliances sits behind the airy dining area. A backdrop of custom cabinetry leads to bedrooms on either end of the home. Five-star amenities, including the hotel spa, can be an everyday experience. (As of press time, this property was under agreement.)

The living room features a gray sectional that defines the space and is bathed in natural light form a wall of black-framed windows. A candle-like chandelier hangs over the space. The rug is gray and white horizontal stripes. Blue upholstered chairs help delineate the space from the dining area and kitchen.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A kitchen is open to the dining and living areas features a wooden island with drawers, open shelving, and a sink. The light-colored wood cabinetry matches the other cabinetry in the space. The flooring is a cherry-like hardwood.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A detail shot of the open shelving on the island, which is filled with glasses, mugs, and linens.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A view into the kitchen and the dining area. The dining table is wood surrounded by six curvy, blue-upholstered chairs. The kitchen has an island and light-colored cabinetry, as well as a narrow table with a waterfall edge that extends off the end.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A living room with a gray-upholstered sectional, a candle-like chandelier, a fireplace with a white board-and-batten surround, a tray ceiling with recessed lighting, a gray and white horizontally striped rug, and black-framed windows.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
The foyer view shows a living room with a gray-upholstered sectional, a candle-like chandelier, a fireplace with a white board-and-batten surround, a tray ceiling with recessed lighting, a gray and white horizontally striped rug, and black-framed windows. To the left is floor-to-ceiling wood cabinetry stained in a warm hue.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A dining area next to a black-framed window sits under a light fixture that looks like half and eggshell. the table is wood and has seating for eight curvy, blue upholstered chairs. You can see part of the kitchen to the left and the family room in the distance.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
Built-in shelving with various backpacks and bags marks the entrance to a walk-in closet with custom wood shelving, lighting, and a mirrored wall. The space is carpeted in a light-colored pile.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A bedroom with a light fixture that appears to be dripping from the ceiling, a platform bed with white linens and dark upholstery, a hardwood floor, and an expanse of windows with a view of the city. The walls are gray and there is a setee before the windows to take in the view.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A bedroom that is so long that a king-size bed doesn't seem to take up much space. The gray walls are lined with narrow, black-framed pictures. The flooring is a beige carpet. A sofa with orange pillows sits before a bow window with black frames.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A platform bed with white bedding and gray upholstering sits under a tri-armed light and on a rug that mimics the veining of marble. The walls are white, and built-in shelving with an assortment of orange tchotchkes lines the wall.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A bathroom with a long floating hardwood vanity with one sink and a white counter. A mirror spans its length. A raised shows sits in the background.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A bath with an oval soaking tub in the foreground. A long, semi-floating vanity its before a wall of mirrors and sconces in the background. In the distance is a frameless glass shower.
. —Mike O'Donoghue
A view from the balcony had other high-rises and a garden. The balcony railing is metal and glass.
. —Mike O'Donoghue

$$$$$

$5,495,000

152 West Newton St., South End

Year built 1867
Square footage 4,026
Bedrooms 5
Baths 3 full, 1 half
Taxes $40,768 (2022)
Fee N/A
Last sold for $2,450,000 in 2010
Listing agent contact info Bradford Sprogis and John Neale, Sprogis & Neale Real Estate, 679 Tremont St., Boston, 617-262-1504, sprogisneale.com

No need to move to the burbs: This renovated single-family Victorian has it all. The parlor level includes a chef-worthy kitchen with an island. Two bedrooms and a study grace the third floor, while the primary suite on the fourth provides access to the hot tub on the roof deck. Store bikes, strollers, and 1,200 bottles of wine at street level, where you can also host an au-pair. The garden level family room opens to the yard and two covered parking spaces with a heated surface.

A grand piano with the top up sits before two windows with dark gray drapes. A white rug with rounded edges sits before a marble fireplace. The walls are gray and have picture-frame molding. The flooring is a dark hardwood.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
A beige tufted sofa with no arms and a tall tufted, modern sofa that is cream-colored. They sit on a textured beige rug. The table in between them is glass, tall, and conical. The stairs, which have dark railings and white balusters, are off to the left. The front door is arched and white. A chandelier and a tall mirror mark the foyer. There is a grand piano in a two-window bump-out in the background.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
The kitchen features an island with a gray countertop and stool seating. The cabinets are white. The appliances are stainless steel.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
the lower level of the home looks out onto a patio with a grill and greenery. The windows are black-framed. The interior space offers a tray ceiling with recessed lighting, a dark-colored sectional with earth-toned pillows, and a rug that looks like brown river stones. The walls are gray, and a bench lines the closest walls. The coffee table is glass with narrow wooden legs.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
A marble fireplace sits to the left in a room with gray walls, crown molding, and recessed lighting. A staircase with dark treads and railings and white balusters stands to the right. A white various-edged rug is in the foreground. A textured rug sits under a tufted sofa and a high-backed modern sofa. There is a bay window in the background.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
The lower level offers a tray ceiling with recessed lighting, a dark-colored sectional with earth-toned pillows, and a rug that looks like brown river stones. The walls are brown to match the bench that lines two walls. The coffee table is glass with narrow wooden legs.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
A long rectangular tale with four chairs sits before a marble fireplace. There is a bow window in the background looking out to brick buildings. A kitchen with light-colored cabinetry, an island with seating for four, a copper hood, and recessed lighting sits to the right.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
A wrought-iron bed sits before a marlbe fireplace with a room with light-colored walls, a two-windowed bump-out, and a globe light fixture. The room also has recessed lighting.
. —Jack Vacther Photography
A marble bathroom with a pedestal sink and a tub. The tile is a mix of small- and large-format tile. The space as a pedestal sink. A black-framed mirror hangs over the sink and is flanked by sconces that look like candles. The toilet is tucked in a corner by a two-over-two window. Open shelving and hooks with towels hang over the toilet. The marble tile goes halfway up the white walls.
. —Jack Vacther Photography

$$$$$

$4,995,000

326 A St., Unit 6C, Fort Point

Year built 1895; converted 1985
Square footage 4,383
Bedrooms 3
Baths 2 full
Taxes $26,090 (2021)
Fee $1,440
Last sold for $1,325,000 in 2005
Listing agent contact info Lawrence Shevick, Coldwell Banker Realty, 399 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-4430, coldwellbankerhomes.com

Musicians, artists, and creatives alike will appreciate this live/work loft with 13-foot ceilings, original brick, and Carolina pine beams. The expansive open floor plan includes a restaurant-style kitchen with an eight-burner range. There is plenty of sun thanks to two walls of windows and a skylight. A sweeping, curved staircase leads to a cottage-like structure that houses the primary suite, a kitchenette, a den, a custom-built sound studio, and access to your own rooftop terrace.

Cantilevered stairs ascend from a wooden platform. The walls are painted white and sports minimal black-framed artwork with white matts.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A gray wavy divider defines a space with an orange couch, a teal ottoman, exposed ductwork, speakers, and shelves lined with media.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A music room lined with media. The space has white columns and white exposed ducts. Big speakers dot the space.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A living room with curvy, sleek, and modern furniture, including glass tables. The space has exposed rafters and beams and several industrial light fixtures. Light pours in from tall windows that line the far wall. The view is of brick buildings.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A long white-walled hallway bathed in the glow of bright green and purple lighting stands to the left of a white-walled room with a white dresser topped with various pieces of art. Art also hangs closely above the dresser.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A media library with a glass table, floor-to-ceiling shelving, curvy wooden seats, and a light-colored floor. Sunlight pours in from a grouping of triangular and rectangular windows.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
White shelves lined with media stand to the left of a long white-walled hallway bathed in the glow of bright green and purple lighting.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A home gym comprised of a bike, dumbbells, and a rowing machine sitting on mats on a hardwood floor. Sunlight pours in from a grouping of triangular and rectangular windows. The view is of a brick building.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
The entrance to the home, which is brick. The door is wood and windowed. A blue compact car sits to the right. An orange moped is to the right. The stairs are metal and industrial.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A view down the long rectangular dining table with is black and set parallel to the kitchen's stainless steel island. The living room is on the left. The space has exposed rafters and beams and several industrial light fixtures.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A deck with a view of the city and a mix of tall and short planters filled with geraniums and other greenery. The wall of the home that is visible is triangular and hosts several windows: triangular and rectangular. A single metal table with two chairs sits at the center.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises
A bathroom with a long vanity that sports two trough sinks with counter-mounted three-piece faucets. The flooring is wood-like. The walls are white, and there is a frameless-glass shower in the background.
. —Craig Cole Enterprises

$$$$$

$4,500,000

36 Lopez Ave., Cambridge, Kendall Square

Year built 1920
Square footage 4,345
Bedrooms 4
Baths 4 full, 2 half
Taxes $13,854 (2021)
Fee N/A
Last sold for $306,000 in 2000
Listing agent contact info Lance Greene, Greene Group at Compass, 1100 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-999-5658, greenepropertiesgroup.com

An office with exposed beams, myriad windows, a wooden desk, white walls, hardwood flooring, built-in cabinetry, and artwork with various frames on the wall.
. —A Louis Jean Media
The main living areas are in an open layout. The living area with its assortment of red, green, and gray seating is to the left. A large painting covers a wall bathed in the glow from skylights framed with green exposed beams. A painting hangs at the start of a stairway with a metal railing, wood treads, and a green wall. A plant serves as a focal point on a half wall that separates the cantilevered stairs and the dining area. The dining area sits before a wall under windows and under a recessed lighting and a chandelier. The red backed seats snuggled up to the kitchen island are visible.
. —A Louis Jean Media
A stairway with a metal railing, wood treads, and yellow and orange walls.
. —A Louis Jean Media
The library has a floor of natural stone tile, recessed lighting, built-in bookcases, and a built-in desk. The walls are white. A red painting hangs over the desk, and the built-ins are topped with plants and filled with books.
. —A Louis Jean Media
A white hallway with a natural stone tile floor. The hallway is lined with artwork in orange and red frames. The stairs to the upper levels are visible in the background.
. —A Louis Jean Media
The exterior of the home is shaped like a schoolhouse. The materials are brick. The first floor is comprised of two green doors, a green garage door, and a wide window framed in green. the home is flanked by a yellow house and a white house with blue garage doors.
. —A Louis Jean Media
A view of living room with a mix of gray red and green seating and decor; a gray, red, and maroon rug, Asian art in red, blue, and turquoise, and plants in vases, including a tree that sits before a sliding glass door. The kitchen is visible in the back left and features wood cabinetry, exposed beams, a skylight, and an island with read chairs. The appliances are stainless steel.
. —A Louis Jean Media
The bedroom has a king-sized platform bed with white and gray linen, a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, white walls, a planter with a tall tree, a rocker, a pair of glass doors to a deck, hardwood flooring, and artwork on the walls.
. —A Louis Jean Media
A rear, walled-in patio with a long table with six chairs. Art Deco sconces with metal shades light the space, but trees and a blue sky are visible in the distance.
. —A Louis Jean Media

 

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Marni Elyse Katz captures good design @StyleCarrot on Instagram and Twitter. Send comments to [email protected]. Subscribe to our newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp.