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Boston condo prices hit new heights

The Millennium Tower, as seen as part of the skyline at night.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

If Boston’s housing market is hot, then the center of the city is even hotter.

Condo prices in central Boston hit record highs in the third quarter, according to two recent reports, with the median price reaching $913,500, 43 percent above last year, according to data from real estate marketing firm LINK.

Driving that surge was Millennium Tower, which closed on most of its 442 units in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, at an average price of more than $1,400 per square foot, according to Campion & Co. But even absent the Downtown Crossing skyscraper, the median price of condos sold in central Boston rose 12 percent, and hit records in neighborhoods from Charlestown to the South End.


“This is a significant jump,” said LINK president Debra Taylor Blair. “We’re at a major tipping point.”

Several factors are driving downtown condo sales, experts say: Growth of high-wage jobs in the core of the city, a wave of empty-nesters downsizing from suburban homes, and international investors drawn to Boston’s economic stability and quality of life.

And there are a lot of people banking on that wave continuing. Dozens of condo buildings are under construction in Boston, ranging from small projects in South Boston and Charlestown to a 733-unit development in the Seaport District. Condo projects totaling at least 2,300 more units have applied for permits from the city — many on prime downtown blocks.

All that new supply could eventually dampen prices as units open over the next few years. But for now, the price to live in the core of the region just keeps going up.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.