Author: Margaret Szerlip

Margaret Szerlip, is a Realtor at Compass in Chestnut Hill, MA. Margaret provides highly personalized service along with the global capabilities of Compass. She specializes in detailed market analysis by way of charts, graphs, and old fashioned intuitiveness. She believes that pricing a home correctly from the start will earn sellers top dollar. Margaret is a known and respected leader within the real estate communities west of Boston. Margaret entered real estate in 2003 after several years off from Wall Street. Margaret worked in NYC for both Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers specializing in municipal bond sales trading for high net worth individuals. That experience has enabled her to interpret what is happening in the financial markets and how that translates to real estate. She supplies charts, graphs and spread sheets along with enthusiasm and humor. Margaret sets herself apart with strong negotiating skills and her uncanny ability to match the right buyer with the right house at the right price. She is able to unlock the hidden potential each and every house possesses allowing buyers to see a home's true potential. Margaret has lived in Newton since 1994 with her husband and two children, her son is a 2009 Newton North graduate, her daughter graduated in 2013. She is one of 1,500 certified Global Mobility Specialists in the country and her personal relocation experience motivates her to make every move as seamless as possible. Margaret has also obtained the Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation (SRES) to help her older sellers experience a more streamlined sale. Margaret has a dedeicated group of service providers to assist seniors making a move. Buyers benefit from Margaret's detailed knowledge of inventory and the correct pricing in comparison to competing properties. Please call her to help you with the sale or purchase of your next home. Newton, Weston, Wellesley, Needham and Chestnut Hill, MA 617-921-6860 margaretszerlip@gmail.com

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?


Newton, MA. Real Estate, Compass, Newton Top Brokers, Sotheby’s

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down? | MyKCM

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale this year compared to last year has increased for the last four months, all while sales of existing homes have slowed compared to last year’s numbers.

For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift,

“This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”

Let’s take a deeper look:

Interest Rates

Since January, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates have increased nearly a full percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.9%). Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all in agreement that rates will continue to increase to about 5.2% over the next 12 months.

“The rise in [mortgage] rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing,” said Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan.

Even though rates are higher than they’ve been in a decade, they still remain below the average for the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s!

Mismatch of Inventory

Elizabeth Mendenhall, President of NAR, said it best, “Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time buyers in the market continues to underwhelm because there are simply not enough listings in their price range.”

Prices of starter and trade-up homes have appreciated faster than their higher-priced counterparts. Over the last 5 years, the lowest-priced homes have appreciated by 47% while the highest-priced homes have appreciated by only 24%.

According to the Institute of Luxury Home Market’s Luxury Market Report, the $1M-and-up price range is now experiencing a buyer’s market. This means that supply (inventory) has finally caught up with demand and buyers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiations. Additionally, many listings in this price range have experienced price cuts in order to entice buyers to put in offers.

Bottom Line

Additional inventory coming to market could help normalize the housing market and allow incomes to catch up to home prices. For more information about sales and inventory in our area, let’s get together so we can help you make the best decision for you and your family.

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

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Is Newton Heading Towards A Buyer’s Market?


Newton, MA. Top Broker, Newton, MA. real estate, Compass, Sotheby’s

Buyer and seller sign

Is Newton Heading to A Buyer’s Market?

The real estate market in Newton is starting to feel a bit different.  New things are coming to market and homes are going under agreement but it all seems — different.’

We’ve listed 3 properties in the past month and happily had over asking offers, some substantially over asking.  4 of our buyers purchased properties this month. One purchased 100k under asking, one 6o under asking and one at asking.  All of these wold be considered hot properties and yet none had multiple offers.  I’ve decided to dig into the numbers and see what I can decipher.

This is the market as of today:

ON Market                                      Average Price                            Days on Market

130 single families                          $2,091,980                                          101

59 Condos                                           $948,146                                         64

 

UNDER AGREEMENT

61 single families                            $1,449,334                                            32

19 condos                                          $726,809                                             27

 

SOLD

38 single families                                $1,249,858                                    29

16 condos                                             $650,000                                       34

 

These numbers tell a story.  The average list price at $2,091, 980 is 40% higher than the average sold price of $1,249,858. It took an average of 29 days to sell vs. the 100 days for the current unsold inventory.  This is a supply and demand business and when new inventory outpaces under agreements a declining market is usually forecasted.  I do not expect to see a significant drop in prices but there will be pushback on price which we are already seeing.  Mortgage rates are up about a 1/2 point and another rate increase is expected before year-end. These increases affect the below 1.2 million dollar buyer the most.

My advice is to seek a Realtor who understands the market trends and acts before everyone else.  You do not want to chase the market down.

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Margaret Szerlip 617.921.6860

 

 

 

 

Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% vs. a Gain of 6.9% Nationally.


Newton, MA. Newton Top Broker, Compass, Sotheby’s

Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% in 2018.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

Between 1987 and 1999, which is often referred to as the ‘Pre-Bubble Period,’ home prices grew at an average of 3.6% according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every month, the economists at CoreLogic release the results of their Home Price Insights Report, which includes the actual year-over-year change in prices across the country and their predictions for the following year.

The chart below shows the forecasted year-over-year prices for 2018 (predictions made in 2017). According to their predictions, the average appreciation over the course of 2018 should be 4.8%, which is still greater than the ‘normal’ appreciation of 3.6%.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

If we layer in the actual price appreciation that has occurred this year, we can see that over the course of 2018, home prices have appreciated by an average of 6.9% and have outpaced projections all year!

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

What does this mean?

The tale of today’s real estate market is one of low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. The forces at work can be simply explained with the theory of supply and demand. That being said, if a large supply of inventory were to come to the market, prices may start to appreciate closer to the forecasted rate which would STILL be greater than the historic norm!

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner whose house no longer meets your needs, now may be a great time to list your home and capitalize on the equity you have gained over the last year to make a significant down payment on your next home!

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing in 2019


Newton’s Top Broker, Newton, MA. real estate, Compass, Sotheby’s

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing in 2019

Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting that home sales will increase nicely in 2019. Below is a chart depicting the projections of each entity for the remainder of 2018, as well as for 2019.

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing in 2019 | MyKCM

As we can see, Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe that homes sales will increase steadily over the next year. If you are a homeowner who has considered selling your house recently, now may be the best time to put it on the market.

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

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Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M


Newton, MA. real estate, Newton’s Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Compass

Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M

Half are in just two buildings: 50 Liberty and the W Boston

50 Liberty under construction in December 2016. 
Dan Logan/Shutterstock

Half of Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos as of late July are in just two buildings: The newish 50 Liberty in the Seaport District and the older W Boston at 110 Stuart Street in the Theatre District.

In general, these 10 priciest one-bedrooms range from $1.35 million to $2.5 million, according to real estate research site NeighborhoodX. The units range in size from 878 square feet to 1,398 square feet.

“Given that the square footage for these properties is relatively modest, the asking prices are driven by relatively high prices per square foot,” NeighborhoodX research director Constantine Valhouli said over email. “These range from $1,246 a foot (1 Charles Street South, #3 in Back Bay) to $1,853 a foot (50 Liberty Drive, #6D in the Seaport).”

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes


Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.

One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,

“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.

Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”

The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | Keeping Current Matters

Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, contact a local real estate professional who can help!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Newton,MA. Realtors, Sotheby’s, Compass, Top Agents in Newton

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement?

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement? | MyKCM

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents(NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $16,300 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or moving in to a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

Steve Blank

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