Axios Boston

Picture of the Boston skyline

January 19, 2023

It's Thursday and it's national popcorn day. So get popping.

Today's weather: Low 40s, chance of rain in the afternoon. Pack an umbrella.

Today's newsletter is 714 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🏘 Bright spots in the real estate market

Illustration of the year 2022, with a keyhole for a zero, which zooms in so you can see through the keyhole to the year 2023.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Boston's real estate market isn’t poised for a crash in 2023, writes Axios' Brianna Crane.

  • Here's what Larry Rideout, chairman and co-owner of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, says to expect instead.
1. Conditions will be better for buyers.

Rideout says buyers will hold a little more power in 2023.

  • "Buyer protections like home inspection and mortgage contingencies, which were rare when the market was at its hottest, are back," he says.
2. The market will be relatively stable.

Overall, transactions might be down but home sales prices will remain steady, Rideout predicts.

  • "While the year will get off to a slow start, I expect the Boston market to bounce back in the second half of 2023," he says.
3. There are opportunities for buyers and sellers.

Yes, but: You need to work with the right professionals to help you navigate the market.

  • In 2023, the market will be less competitive, meaning "it's a good time for buyers and sellers to take advantage and make or get the best offer," Rideout says.

💭 Steph’s thought bubble: I have a feeling we'll still be seeing poorly flipped homes and condos starting at a half-million dollars around Boston.

Pro tip: Don’t settle for a place without a home inspection, no matter how beautiful or affordable it seems.

2. Boston rents continue to climb

Data: Moody's Analytics; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pandemic did little to stop the tremendous rise of rent prices in eastern Mass. the last few years.

Details: Boston's asking rent prices surged over 11% between the final quarters of 2021 and 2022, according to Moody's.

  • That’s the fourth biggest jump in the country during that time.

To add insult to injury, Boston is still the second most-expensive place to rent among the cities where prices are going up the fastest.

3. BTMU: Brian Walshe's Google searches

Two police officers lead Brian Walshe in handcuffs into Quincy District Court to be arraigned on murder charges.

Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors said yesterday that Brian Walshe dismembered and discarded the body of his wife, Ana Walshe.

  • Investigators found towels, a hacksaw and a piece of a necklace Ana had been seen wearing in several trash bags. Many items appeared to have blood stains.
  • Walshe allegedly Googled, "how to stop a body from decomposing," "can identification be made on partial remains" and "how long does DNA last?" (NBC Boston)

🏠 Mayor Wu is pitching a rent control plan that would tie rent increases in many apartment buildings to inflation and cap those increases at 10% per year. (Globe)

🐳 Robert Burchell, the suspect in the theft of more than $75,000 in artifacts from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, made five visits to a pawn shop before the shop owner started to get suspicious about the items he was selling. (Standard-Times)

4. 💬 It's time to talk about the statue

The Daily Show

First it was online trolls, then art critics, and now it's late-night comics.

It seems like everyone is heaping scrutiny on the statue dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King last week.

The intrigue: What many probably thought after first seeing "The Embrace" from a certain angle (but probably didn’t want to say) has devolved into a punchline.

The Daily Show guest host Leslie Jones dedicated nearly four minutes this week to tearing into the disembodied arms for resembling an act a bit more intimate than a hug.

  • "Listen, I know Dr. King went down in history, but this is not how you show it," Jones said.

The other side: Some people have had a more positive reaction to the sculpture.

  • Boston Globe columnist Jeneé Osterheldt described it as "beautiful and radical" on GBH's "Greater Boston" this week. Osterheldt praised "The Embrace" for depicting love and tenderness between a Black couple.

Parting thought: Rev. Liz Walker, co-founder of Embrace Boston, noted on "Greater Boston" that public art is meant to provoke thought and discussion.

  • Love it or hate it, "The Embrace" has got the whole country talking.

Go deeper: Black Twitter's response to sculpture, explained (NewsOne)

A new career is waiting for you

💼 Check out who’s hiring now.

  1. Director, Information Technology at Kayhem.
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  3. Deputy Director, Business and IT Strategy at Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

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5. 1 beer to go: 🍺 A creamy Dot colab

Who says you can't have local ice cream in the winter? Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Dorchester Brewing Company's Does Not Contain Nuts* sweet stout is made in collaboration with The Ice Creamsmith on the other side of Dorchester in Lower Mills.

The intrigue: The dessert stout is just what the doctor ordered on a frigid winter day ... if your doctor orders you to drink beer for some reason.

  • The 7.6% ABV mocha-almond stout has added lactose, but as the name implies, uses almond extract instead of real nuts.
  • It's $9.25 for the 13oz. nitro pour or $4 for the 5oz. sample.

Deehan wants to know where Bostonians go sledding. What are your favorite hills and slopes around here?

Steph wants to give a shout out to Eascra Biotech for being picked to showcase its therapeutic nanotechnology at SXSW in March. (Yes, the same Eascra that’s developing its nanomaterials in space.)

This newsletter was edited by Fadel Allassan and copy edited by James Farrell.