Is the Massachusetts Real Estate Market “Schizophrenic?”

page1_img1Being new to the real estate business I have been doing my best to read, learn and understand the current market.  But how can I expect to understand the real estate market when experienced agents are being quoted in the Boston Globe as saying the market is “schizophrenic,” “weird,” and “baffling.”  I guess it isn’t behaving the way it is supposed to?  Maybe I am naive, but when has the market behaved the way it is “supposed to?”

The Boston Globe discussed the market and recovery in Massachusetts this week in “A Very Strange Housing Recovery in Massachusetts.”  The second paragraph says:

Sales are down, foreclosures are up, and buyers are walking away from pending deals. Construction of new housing is falling again. To top it off: Single-family home prices in September fell compared with the same month in 2013, the first such price decline in two years…

OMG, the sky is falling!  And yet, the article also points out that:

…the state’s median home price, adjusted for inflation, has climbed back to within 15 percent of pre-recession highs; nationally, prices are still down 30 percent…

The media always likes to focus on the gloom and doom.  dgloomIn my area, what I would call “greater metro-west Boston,” we are generally seeing an increase in inventory (with some exceptions), a decrease in units sold and an increase in sales price.  Here are some real numbers for select communities (source: Century 21 Commonwealth):

Single-family Inventory, 10/21/13 vs 10/21/14:

  • Brookline                    -15.3%
  • Dover                              1.6%
  • Framingham                25.5%
  • Holliston                      57.1%
  • Hopkinton                   28.3%
  • Medfield                         8.5%
  • Natick                            15.0%
  • Needham                       58.1%
  • Newton                          22.9%
  • Sherborn                      -27.9%
  • Wellesley                       47.6%

Median Price Change, first 3 quarters 2013 vs 2104:

  • Brookline                       16.0%
  • Dover                                3.8%  Home-Prices-Going-Up
  • Framingham                    2.9%
  • Holliston                         14.1%
  • Hopkinton                       3.8%
  • Medfield                           9.2%
  • Natick                               7.5%
  • Needham                          2.9%
  • Newton                             8.3%
  • Sherborn                          2.4%
  • Wellesley                         8.7%

You could make a case that it is a good time for buyers (as inventory levels are up) or sellers (as selling prices are up).  Maybe I am really, really naive, but I think if you are looking to buy, there is always a house out there for you, and if you are looking to sell, a home priced right will always sell.  If you are interested in a market analysis of your home, or if you are interested in seeing what is out there in the market to buy, contact me…I will try to help you wade through this “schizophrenic, weird and baffling” market.


About Lisa Van Dore

I have lived in Sherborn, Dover and most recently North Walpole, for a total of 15 years (and counting). Having recently been through the process of selling a home and buying (and renovating) a new one, I understand the conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety inherent in the process, whether you are a seller or buyer, whether this is your first home purchase or your tenth. I have a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Indiana University. My early career found me working as a CPA, and later as the controller of Crate & Barrel. More recently I spent seven years running my own personal training business. I understand the hard work and dedication necessary to build a business and a reputation...most of my personal training clients came to me by referral and my first client was still with me when I decided to leave personal training. This speaks to the level of effort I put forth for my clients, week after week. On a more personal note, I raced triathlon for seven years and more recently completed my first half marathon. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, Maine, hiking and, in the fall, following college teams are the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
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