The summer months in Boston real estate tend to exhibit the same behavior we expect from ourselves – languid and slower paced.
But as we kick off July 4th, it seems the summer of 2012 in real estate sales is more like the weather than we’ve historically experienced – it’s hot, and the temperature is increasing!
Sales are bouncing back like hot cakes on a griddle! Open Houses are plentiful and if the home is priced right, we’re seeing multiple offers resulting in closings above the listed price!
For some reason buyers are placing their offers during, after, and some are doing it even BEFORE a home is officially launched on the market with an OPEN HOUSE. As soon as it gets in the pipleline that I have a listing I’m preparing to put on the market, I’m flooded with requests and in some cases, offers. And I’m not alone.
And if it’s not an offer, folks who can’t make it to the OPEN HOUSE because they’re out of town, are either truly chagrined or figure out a way to get back for the launch.
Last week for instance I put 11 Parsons Way on the market, listed at $895,000. By the end of the OPEN HOUSE, an offer was in hand which was accepted that night.
Now of course prior to the official launch I’d done my homework, making calls and stopping in to chat with individuals who I knew had been hoping to find a house in the neighborhood. Putting out the word in all the right places is critical.
But it’s always exciting to see an offer come together, with the sellers satisfied and the buyers thrilled to be getting the house they’ve been wishing for.
Boston’s economy is getting increasingly stronger after a period of entrenchment and closings that I see scheduled in the coming months are swelling in numbers as well.
Massachusetts home sales hit a 2 year high in May!
Single-family home sales in Mass. see ninth straight month of increases…
The state’s real estate market is stabilizing, as single-family home sales surged by 18.4 percent in April compared with a year ago — the ninth-straight month of increases, according to data from the MLS Property Information Network.
Last month, agents sold 3,129 single-family homes in Massachusetts, compared with 2,642 in April 2011. While the volume increased, so did prices — modestly. The median price of a single-family home in the Bay State rose to $280,000 last month, up from $276,000 at the same time last year, a 1.4 percent rise and the first time in 11 months the median has risen.
“People are realizing prices are not going to fall any further and it’s unlikely we’ll ever see interest rates this low in our lifetime,” said Barry Bluestone, a Northeastern University economist, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to another record low to 3.83 percent for the week ending May 10, down from 3.98 at the beginning of April. “For people looking for a house and (who) have good credit, now is a good time to buy.”
Freddie Mac, in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, said the recent average fixed mortgage rates are lower than at any time since the mortgage buyer began tracking rates in 1971. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4 percent all but one week since Dec. 8, 2011.
Brokers say the combination of low interest rates, rising rents, fear of escalating home prices and a stronger Massachusetts economy is fueling buyer confidence. The Bay State’s unemployment rate has fallen by more then 1 percentage point to 6.4 percent from a year ago, according to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
More than half of the homes sold — 1,841 — were in the $100,000 to $349,999 price range. The most popular selling price in April for single-family homes were priced from $200,000 to $249,999.
John Farrell, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Beverly, said he put eight or nine houses under agreement last month versus three or four in April 2011. “We’ve had a couple buyers miss out on properties by a day or a few thousand dollars, just because of the increase in activity,” he said.
In Wellesley, John Prescott, vice president of Century 21 Commonwealth, said perhaps the biggest factor luring buyers off the sidelines is low mortgage interest rates. “Money is so cheap it’s practically free,” he said. “I bought my first home on a credit-card rate.”
Condominium sales surged in April to 1,256 units sold, up from 1,133 in 2011, a 10.8 percent hike. Median prices also spiked, reaching $278,675 last month compared with $267,000 in April of last year, a 4.3 percent gain.
Jeff Stineback, a sales representative at the Prudential Unlimited Realty in Jamaica Plain, said demand for the Boston neighborhood is boosting prices for condos where potential buyers find it is less expensive than Cambridge or Brookline. In April, the median price for a condo was up slightly to $351,000 from $37,500 one year ago, a 1 percent rise. “Condo prices have jumped from the mid $200,000 range to the high $200,000s and low $300,000 range, he said. “Prices in some areas of JP increased almost 10 percent almost overnight.”
– Boston Business Journal
Premium content from Boston Business Journal by Brendan Lynch, Special to the Journal – Date: Friday, May 18, 2012, 6:00am EDT
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