Buyers Face Fewer Choices

Buyers Face Fewer Choices

An article from Realtor.com came out recently titled “New Reality?  Buyers Face Fewer Choices.”  In the article they note that the US has seen an overall decline of 7% in homes listed for sale.  Of course, not all markets are the same…looking at the US as a whole is a pretty big-picture view, and the article points out that some markets (such as Las Vegas, Houston and San Antonio) are actually seeing much greater inventory levels (as a real estate agent, I wish we had that problem).

I put together some stats for the local Boston real estate market, to see how it compares to what the country is seeing overall.  In general we too are seeing fewer homes listed for sale, with many markets seeing double-digit percentage decreases in inventory over this time last year.  Median prices are less consistent…generally as inventory levels fall, prices would go up, and while we are seeing that for Greater Boston overall, along with both Middlesex and Norfolk counties, this is not so consistent for the individual towns listed below.  Here are some specific stats for your review.

Change in # of Listings Change in Median List Price
Greater Boston * 15.9% decrease 8.6% increase
Middlesex County 21.5% decrease 7.3% increase
    Holliston 14.6% decrease 11% increase
    Natick 18% decrease 8% decrease
    Sherborn 25.7% decrease 7.2% increase
Norfolk County 11.3% decrease 5.5% increase
    Dedham 20% decrease 4.2% decrease
    Dover 5.8% decrease 30% increase
    Medfield 24% decrease no change
    Needham 32.3% decrease 1% decrease
    Norfolk 2.6% decrease 3% decrease
    Walpole 28.6% decrease 16% increase
    Wellesley 12.6% increase 4% decrease
    Westwood 8% decrease 7.2% increase
* Greater Boston includes Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth & Suffolk counties
All stats are as of March 6, 2017 as compared to March 6, 2016, per MLS Pinergy.

Inventory levels are lower as compared to last year in every location in the chart above, with the exception of Wellesley, which has seen quite the opposite, with a 12.5% increase in inventory.  And while Greater Boston, Middlesex and Norfolk counties overall have seen healthy median price increases, more than half the towns listed saw a decrease in median listing price (with Medfield seeing no change).  Despite the low inventory levels, maybe there is only so much increase in listing price that the market can take.

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The spring market is starting to heat up.  A relatively mild winter (lack of snow on the ground) encourages  more people to get out looking (and hopefully more people ready to list their homes).  In the past week alone, of the eleven towns listed above, seven saw net increases in inventory levels (the exceptions being Medfield, which was unchanged, and Walpole, Norfolk and Dedham, which saw a net decrease).  Sherborn saw 7 net new listings (from 19 to 26), Holliston saw 6 net new listings (from 29 to 35) and Wellesley saw 9 new listings (from 98 to 107).  This is good news for buyers.

abode-987096__340If you are thinking of selling, it really could not be a better time to list.  With interest rates beginning to creep up, more buyers are entering the market, ready to pull the trigger.  Couple that with low inventory levels, and sellers are in the driver’s seat.  Read my post, 7 Tips for Home Sellers to help make sure you are ready.  For buyers, I recommend that you get your pre-approval in hand and read my post, 6 Tips for Home Buyers.  If I can be of service to any one in the sale of their home or in their search for a new home, please give me a call (508-308-4436), send me an email (Lvandore@LandmarkNE.com) or send me a message via Facebook.  I would love to help you!

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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 football...my teams are the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
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