High-End Home Sales See An Uptick

The high end market has been stagnant since the meltdown in the financial markets last September. While it has been raining here in Newton most of the Spring, the high-end housing market (homes priced above 1.5 million) is seeing some sun. During May and June 13 homes have gone under agreeement or sold. That is a significant increase over the 10 homes under contract from January thru April. The average list price was $2,310,269 and average sale price is $1,997,083. The list to sales ratio is about 86%. Worth noting, the average days on market was 217 days, 5 of the 13 were on the market between 221 and 808 days. Homes more recent to the market average 86 days and will probably garner closer to their asking price. On a personal note a 2.5 million dollar home in excellent condition I brought to market last Thursday has had 16 showings, and 3 second showings. We are negotiating one offer and are told we are getting another offer. Compare this to a beautiful home I listed in March for 2.8 million I had a total of 8 showings in 2 1/2 months before we decided to take the home off the market.
San Francisco entered the decline before Boston and seems to be recovering ahead of us also, although suburban Boston did not see the steep drops San Francisco did. MDA DataQuick reported on San Francisco home prices. Although they are down 34% year over year, they were up 12% month over month and are up 18% from the March cycle low. The rise in median price is a sign that the high end is starting to see some signs of life. Sales of homes $800,000 or more were 13.2% of all resales, the best reading since October’s 14.8%. Jumbo mortgages accounted for 25.5% of the Bay Areas sales, which is also the best reading since October’s 25.8%.
Home sales in Newton under 1 million dollars are brisk, with some receiving multiple offers and most receiving close to the asking price. However, pricing is still key, overpriced homes are not selling at any price points. The condo market continues to be very weak with the recent tightening of mortgage guidelines for condos. There are loans for condos, but it helps to have a knowledgeable mortgage broker.

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