Market Info

North of Boston Real Estate Market Update April 2021

 Last March after everything shutdown we had a huge decline in the amount of new homes being listed on MLS. Despite fewer listings on MLS when we're looking at March of 2021 we still had close to 31% less inventory than March of 2020. Even though there were fewer homes on the market buyer demand remains so strong that in March of 2021 we actually saw an increase close to 3% in the amount of homes sold.  Days on market is down as well too close to about 18%.  Median sales prices are up close to 10% compared to what we saw last March. The market remains strong however some sellers are under the impression that because the market's strong they can take some shortcuts. However, what we've seen and what we recommend to sellers is don't take those shortcuts because it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. We've seen buyers pay $25k-$100k over asking. So if you're looking to maximize the sale of your property don't take any shortcuts now. For buyers out there it is certainly a frustrating market and many are thinking maybe they should put their search on pause and resume later on. In our opinion that's not a good idea. We have seen more listings come on the market every week. Now having said that the market remains strong. We're seeing most of the new listings coming on the market get absorbed by buyer demand. So if you are prepared to put in a strong offer not just a competing offer but one that will get accepted our advice is to keep looking.

 If you have any questions and you're thinking about buying or selling in the suburbs north of Boston give us a call  at 617-275-3375.

 

Curious about the numbers for your area?  Click the link for your town!

AndoverNorth AndoverNorth ReadingReadingWakefield and Stoneham

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for a behind the scenes of our day to day and favorite happenings north of Boston!

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North of Boston Real Estate Market Update March 2021

“It’s never been easier to sell your home. However, we are shocked at how many sellers are leaving tens of thousands of dollars and sometimes six figures on the table by hiring agents who either don’t know how, or aren’t committed to, doing the work necessary to maximize a sale,” reports Linda O’Koniewski, CEO, Leading Edge. “If you want an agent who will squeeze out every dollar, make sure your agent has a plan to get all qualified buyers into a house, and then is savvy enough to negotiate on your behalf to create the best offer. Too many agents are simply messengers, not skilled negotiators who understand how to leverage each offer. Strategies matter, and that is what we specialize in at Leading Edge.”

Curious about the numbers for your area?  Click the link for your town!

AndoverNorth AndoverNorth ReadingReadingWakefield and Stoneham

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for a behind the scenes of our day to day and favorite happenings north of Boston!

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North of Boston Real Estate Market Update February 2021

We're taking a look at January of 2021 and comparing it to January of 2020 in the real estate market north of Boston specifically Middlesex and Essex counties for single-family homes, multi-family homes and condominiums.  Right now inventory levels are really low they are down by about 36% compared to last January. The time it's taking homes to sell, days on market, is also down by about 30% compared to last January. The amount of homes sold is up by about 10% from last January and median prices are up by about 7.2%.  For sellers out there that are selling now they're certainly cashing in, with low inventory and high demand, it remains a seller's market. For buyers wondering where they can escape the competition of other buyers, unfortunately we're seeing multiple offer situations in all price points from north of Boston, Middlesex and Essex counties all the way into southern New Hampshire.  If you're thinking about a move over the next 24 months and have questions, feel free to give us a call we'd be happy to give some information we can be reached at 617-275-3379.

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3 Reasons We're Definitely Not in a Housing Bubble

3 Reasons Were Definitely Not in a Housing Bubble | MyKCM
 

Home values appreciated by about ten percent in 2020, and they’re forecast to appreciate by about five percent this year. This has some voicing concern that we may be in another housing bubble like the one we experienced a little over a decade ago. Here are three reasons why this market is totally different.

1. This time, housing supply is extremely limited

The price of any market item is determined by supply and demand. If supply is high and demand is low, prices normally decrease. If supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally increase.

In real estate, supply and demand are measured in “months’ supply of inventory,” which is based on the number of current homes for sale compared to the number of buyers in the market. The normal months’ supply of inventory for the market is about 6 months. Anything above that defines a buyers’ market, indicating prices will soften. Anything below that defines a sellers’ market in which prices normally appreciate.

Between 2006 and 2008, the months’ supply of inventory increased from just over 5 months to 11 months. The months’ supply was over 7 months in twenty-seven of those thirty-six months, yet home values continued to rise.

Months’ inventory has been under 5 months for the last 3 years, under 4 for thirteen of the last fourteen months, under 3 for the last six months, and currently stands at 1.9 months – a historic low.

Remember, if supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally increase.

2. This time, housing demand is real

During the housing boom in the mid-2000s, there was what Robert Schiller, a fellow at the Yale School of Management's International Center for Finance, called “irrational exuberance.” The definition of the term is, “unfounded market optimism that lacks a real foundation of fundamental valuation, but instead rests on psychological factors.” Without considering historic market trends, people got caught up in the frenzy and bought houses based on an unrealistic belief that housing values would continue to escalate.

The mortgage industry fed into this craziness by making mortgage money available to just about anyone, as shown in the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) published by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage; the lower the index, the more difficult it is to obtain one. Prior to the housing boom, the index stood just below 400. In 2006, the index hit an all-time high of over 868. Again, just about anyone could get a mortgage. Today, the index stands at 122.5, which is well below even the pre-boom level.

In the current real estate market, demand is real, not fabricated. Millennials, the largest generation in the country, have come of age to marry and have children, which are two major drivers for homeownership. The health crisis is also challenging every household to redefine the meaning of “home” and to re-evaluate whether their current home meets that new definition. This desire to own, coupled with historically low mortgage rates, makes purchasing a home today a strong, sound financial decision. Therefore, today’s demand is very real.

Remember, if supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally increase.

3. This time, households have plenty of equity

Again, during the housing boom, it wasn’t just purchasers who got caught up in the frenzy. Existing homeowners started using their homes like ATM machines. There was a wave of cash-out refinances, which enabled homeowners to leverage the equity in their homes. From 2005 through 2007, Americans pulled out $824 billion dollars in equity. That left many homeowners with little or no equity in their homes at a critical time. As prices began to drop, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the mortgage was higher than the value of their home. Many defaulted on their payments, which led to an avalanche of foreclosures.

Today, the banks and the American people have shown they learned a valuable lesson from the housing crisis a little over a decade ago. Cash-out refinance volume over the last three years was less than a third of what it was compared to the 3 years leading up to the crash.

This conservative approach has created levels of equity never seen before. According to Census Bureau data, over 38% of owner-occupied housing units are owned ‘free and clear’ (without any mortgage). Also, ATTOM Data Solutions just released their fourth quarter 2020 U.S. Home Equity Report, which revealed:

“17.8 million residential properties in the United States were considered equity-rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value…The count of equity-rich properties in the fourth quarter of 2020 represented 30.2 percent, or about one in three, of the 59 million mortgaged homes in the United States.”

If we combine the 38% of homes that are owned free and clear with the 18.7% of all homes that have at least 50% equity (30.2% of the remaining 62% with a mortgage), we realize that 56.7% of all homes in this country have a minimum of 50% equity. That’s significantly better than the equity situation in 2008.

Bottom Line

This time, housing supply is at a historic low. Demand is real and rightly motivated. Even if there were to be a drop in prices, homeowners have enough equity to be able to weather a dip in home values. This is nothing like 2008. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Want to Build Wealth? Buy a Home This Year.

Want to Build Wealth? Buy a Home This Year. | MyKCM
 

Every year, households across the country make the decision to rent for another year or take the leap into homeownership. They look at their earnings and savings and then decide what makes the most financial sense. That equation will most likely take into consideration monthly housing costs, tax advantages, and other incremental expenses. Using these measurements, recent studies show that it’s still more affordable to own than rent in most of the country.

There is, however, another financial advantage to owning a home that’s often forgotten in the analysis – the wealth built through equity when you own a home.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for First American, discusses this point in a recent blog post. She explains:

“Once you include the equity benefit of price appreciation, owning made more financial sense than renting in 48 out of the 50 top markets, with the only exceptions being San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.”

What has this equity piece meant to homeowners in the past?

ATTOM Data Solutions, the curator of one of the nation’s premier property databases, just analyzed the typical home-price gain owners nationwide enjoyed when they sold their homes. Here’s a breakdown of their findings:Want to Build Wealth? Buy a Home This Year. | MyKCM

The typical gain in the sale of the home (equity) has increased significantly over the last five years.

CoreLogic, another property data curator, also weighed in on the subject. According to their latest Homeowner Equity Insights Report, the average homeowner gained $17,000 in equity in just the last year alone.

What does the future look like for homeowners when it comes to equity?

Here are the seven major home price appreciation forecasts for 2021:Want to Build Wealth? Buy a Home This Year. | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just reported that today, the median-priced home in the country sells for $309,800. If homes appreciate by 5% this year (the average of the forecasts), the homeowner will increase their wealth by $15,490 in 2021 through increased equity.

Bottom Line

As you make your plans for the coming year, be sure to consider the equity benefits of home price appreciation as you weigh the financial advantages of buying over renting. When you do, you may find this is the perfect time to jump into homeownership.

January 2021 North of Boston Real Estate Market Update

Here's a look at how December of 2020 compared to December of 2019 in the suburbs north of Boston, specifically Middlesex and Essex counties.  Overall, total number of homes sold is up by about 21%. Total inventory the amount of homes available on the market down by close to 24%.  The time it's taking homes, to sell days on market, is down close to 35% and overall median sales prices are up close to 10.5%.  Overall December of 2020 was a much stronger market for sellers compared to December of 2019.

If you are considering a move to the suburbs north of Boston give us a call at   617-275-337.  

Curious about the numbers for your area?  Click the link for your town!

AndoverNorth AndoverNorth ReadingReadingWakefield and Stoneham

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for a behind the scenes of our day to day and favorite happenings north of Boston!

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North of Boston Real Estate Market December 6-12, 2020

We're taking a look at the north of Boston real estate markets, specifically Middlesex and Essex counties for single-family homes and condominiums during the week of December 6th through the 12th.  Last week, there were 2,150 homes available on the market, an increase of 3% from the week before. New listings decreased by 5.5% with 378 homes coming on the market. 494 homes went pending last week that is an increase of 25% from the week before. Overall, 23% of the market did get absorbed through pending listings which shows it remains a strong seller's market.  Last week was one of the better weeks that we've seen since October. So, if you're still looking for a home now is not the time to put your search on pause. Keep looking- and if you're thinking about selling your home over the next 12 months now is the time to come up with a plan. Sooner very well may be better than later for this upcoming year.  If you're considering a move to the suburbs north of Boston give us a call at 617-275-3379.

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The Holidays Aren't Stopping Homebuyers This Year

The Holidays Arent Stopping Homebuyers This Year | MyKCM
 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, yet finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family is certainly still top of mind for many right now. This year, there’s another type of buyer that’s very active this holiday season – the homebuyer.

Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The most recent index notes:

“The Showing Index reported a 60.9 percent jump in nationwide showing traffic year over year in October, the sixth consecutive month to see an increase over last year.”

Here’s the breakdown of the latest activity by region of the country compared to this time last year:

  • The Northeast increased by 65.5%
  • The West increased by 64.7%
  • The Midwest increased by 55.7%
  • The South increased by 54.7%

Why is the traffic so active?

The health crisis definitely put homebuying plans on pause for many earlier this year. Buyers, however, are in the market and making moves well past the typical busy homebuying seasons of spring and summer.

One of the main reasons buyer traffic has continued to soar in the second half of 2020 is how dramatically mortgage rates have fallen. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 3.72%. Today, the rate is a full percentage point lower.

Bottom Line

There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2021, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer is very likely searching for a home in your neighborhood right now.

December 2020 Real Estate Market Update

We're taking a look at the north of Boston real estate market's specifically for Middlesex and Essex counties and comparing November 2020 to November of 2019.  Total inventory, the amount of homes available for sale, went down close to 27%.  Days on market, the time it's taking homes to sell, averaged about 30 days, another decrease of 27%.  The amount of homes sold went up 12%. Median prices went up to $560,000 an increase of 12% from last November. 

This past November was definitely a lot stronger for sellers compared to November of 2019.  If you are considering a move to the suburbs north of Boston contact us!

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EasyKnock

 

Our new normal during this pandemic means that we are all spending a lot more time at home.  It also means that many of us are realizing that our home just doesn’t quite fit our needs anymore.  Its been a seller’s market for some time now and with strong buyer demand it makes sense to take advantage of today’s market.  

So, do you buy first or sell first?  Contingencies in today’s market simply don’t work.  If you buy first, that could mean taking on two mortgages.  If you sell first, are you willing to rent, or do you have a place to go?  With the time and effort it takes to move, would you want to move twice?  Typically these were the only two options available to homeowners. Now there is a third option.  

We’ve partnered with a company called EasyKnock.  Through EasyKnock you can unlock the equity of your home, allowing you to put in a competitive offer without the contingency of selling your home first.  EasyKnock will buy your home and allow you to then rent it back.  You can then search for your dream home without worrying about your current value.  When you are ready to sell you can put it on the market to get full value.  Contact us to learn more about how this option might work for you!