Newton

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase


Newton, MA Top Realtors. Newton and Brookline Real Estate, Compass, Sotheby’s

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase | MyKCM

Many buyers are wondering where to find houses for sale in today’s market. It’s a true dilemma. We see an increase in buyer demand, but the supply available for purchase isn’t keeping up.

The number of new housing permits issued prior to the great recession increased for 15 years until 2005 (from 1.12 million in 1990 to a pre-recession peak of 2.16 million in 2005). According to Apartment List,

From 1990 to 2005, the number of single-family permits issued more than doubled, while the number of multi-family permits grew by 49 percent.

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase | MyKCM

When the housing market crashed, the number of new homes permitted decreased to its lowest level in 2009 (see below):Since then, supply and demand have been out of balance when it comes to new construction. According to the same report,

Construction of single-family homes has recovered much more slowly — the number of single-family housing units permitted in 2018 was barely half the number permitted in 2005.”

Why is new construction so important?

As the U.S. population increases, there is also an increase in the need for new homes. Today, new construction is not keeping up with the increase in the nation’s population. The report continues:

“The total number of residential housing units permitted in 2018 was roughly the same as the number permitted in 1994, when the country’s population was 20 percent less than it is today.”

Essentially, the dip in home building coupled with the steadily increasing U.S. population means there is now a selling opportunity for homeowners willing to list their current houses.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering selling your home to move up, now is a great time to get a positive return on your investment in a market with high demand. Let’s get together to determine the specific options available for you and your family.

Is Renting Right for Me?


Newton, MA. Real Estate, Top Broker in Newton, Compass, Sotheby’s

Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCM

If you’re currently renting and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, homeownership may be closer than you realize.

According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.

Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCM
Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCM

When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason, and 42% of renters believe their rent will rise every year. The full results of the survey can be seen below:It’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”

The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of homeownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.

Bottom Line

If you’re one of the many renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to homeownership.
« The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

Sampling Newton’s Restaurants


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

Discover the best restaurants in Newton for pizza, ramen, brunch, and more

Moldovan food? Newton has it.

A side of meatballs at Fiorella's in Newton
A side of meatballs at Fiorella’s in Newton. –Justin Saglio

A leisurely trip from Boston on the Green Line, Newton may not at first seem like a suburb to visit for Moldovan food. But it is — along with classic Neapolitan pizza, Chilean cuisine, and steaming bowls of ramen. The next time you find yourself in Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, and other Newton villages, head to one of these fantastic restaurants, which make up the area’s globally diverse cuisine.

Buttonwood
A May 2018 kitchen fire caused this Newton Highlands neighborhood eatery to close for 10 months, but it has triumphantly returned with its entire staff (led by the team behind Sycamore and Little Big Diner) and many of its beloved menu items, including the BW cheeseburger, pork schnitzel, and a slew of Mediterranean-inspired grilled dishes. The cocktails are nothing to scoff at, either: Try the Crimson King, made with rye, ginger-maple syrup, lemon, and angostura bitters. (51 Lincoln St.)

Comedor
An order of crispy chicken drumsticks at Comedor. —Justin Saglio for The Boston Globe

Comedor
At Comedor, a colorful and inviting bar and restaurant in Newton Centre, Chilean soul food takes center stage in the form of chili-glazed pork ribs, papas fritas, and Spanish octopus with roasted root vegetables. It’s a popular spot for brunch, too, with homemade doughnuts and a nap-inducing s’mores French toast with chocolate ganache. (105 Union St.)

Dunn Gaherin’s
It’s not easy to find an Irish pub in the Boston area that serves both great beer andfantastic food, but Dunn Gaherin’s — fun to say, even better to visit — is one of the exceptions. Inside the quirky space, customers tuck into plates of steak tips and gravy-drenched meatloaf (stop by on Fridays and Saturdays for the shepherd’s pie special). Imported and local brews flow from the taps, including the necessary Guinness. (344 Elliot St.)

Fiorella's
Gnocchi at Fiorella’s. —Justin Saglio

Fiorella’s
At Fiorella’s in Newtonville, you’ll find the types of Italian food that can cause sudden cravings at unsuspecting moments: chicken parmigiana, shrimp scampi, four-layered lasagna. A hefty salad section is ideal for the lunch crowd (and includes everything from chopped Italian salad to a roasted beets and arugula bowl), and desserts are ideal for, well, anytime — especially if your order involves the peanut butter ice cream pie. (187 North St.)

The Landing Pizza & Kitchen
This Newton newcomer has only been open for a few months, but pizza fans are already raving about the pies here. Owner Massimo Ottani is certified in making traditional Neapolitan pizza, and his training shows: Thin-crust dough is topped with fresh ingredients that range from sweet sopressata and anchovies to potato. Oven-baked focacce sandwiches and calzones are also on the menu, but you’d be remiss if you skipped out on Ottani’s exceptional pizza. (223 Adams St.)

Little Big Diner
The spicy miso ramen at Little Big Diner. —Suzanne Kreiter

Little Big Diner
For a soul-warming bowl of ramen, Little Big Diner is the go-to spot in Newton. The tiny lunch and dinner hangout serves brown rice bowls, poke, and shared appetizers, but it’s the ramen that draws in locals, from traditional miso or shoyu ramen to the spicy tan tan ramen, a take on tantan mien with both chashu pork and chili ground pork. (1247 Centre St.)

Lumiere
The takeout family meal of roast whole chicken, salad, grilled broccoli, potatoes, other vegetables, and cookies at Lumiere. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Lumiere
As one of Newton’s more upscale restaurants, Lumiere excels at on-point service and expertly executed French fare. Chef Jordan Bailey focuses on approachable classics like an herb-roasted half chicken, steak frites, and smoked fish pate, but if you really want to put your faith in Bailey, go for the chef’s whim tasting menu: five blind courses with the option to pair with wine. The kitchen also offers a family meal, a takeout dinner meant to feed two adults and two children. (1293 Washington St.)

Max & Leo’s
Emotions run rampant when discussing the quality of pizza in the Boston area, but Max & Leo’s delivers on both great pies and a family-friendly atmosphere. The sibling-owned pizzeria, which also has locations in Sudbury and the Fenway, allows you to build your own pie or choose from one of the custom pizzas — the Steve’s Old Fashioned is an exercise in refined simplicity, made with fresh mozzarella, slices of tomato, fresh basil, and garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil. (325 Washington St.)

Moldova
A pie with savory filling at Moldova. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Moldova
Moldovan cuisine takes inspiration from its surrounding neighbors — Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria — and you’ll find a little bit of all of these influences at Moldova, a colorful cafe on Watertown Street. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, the menu includes dishes like Platou Moldovenesc, a mix of scrambled eggs, your choice of meat, hash browns and polenta; as well as sarmale, which are hand-rolled cabbage and grape leaves stuffed with rice, chicken, and herbs. (344 Watertown St.)

Sycamore
Seasonal fare dictates the menu at Sycamore, a neighborhood bistro where crispy Rhode Island squid and mushroom lasagna are listed alongside a Colorado lamb board for two. Bring a friend (or a date) and settle in to the brick-walled space, where a small, cozy bar serves beer, wine, and craft cocktails. (755 Beacon St.)

 

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!

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?


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

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling? | MyKCM

Most of my seller clients have nowhere to move.  It’s hard for older people to wrap their mind around spending 6,000 a month in rent!

In a recent CNBC article, it was reported that many baby boomers are selling their current homes and moving into rentals, rather than purchasing another home.

“Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent…

Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.”

This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy?

A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however…

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether you should rent or buy your next home, you should take this into consideration.

Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home instead of renting. Let’s get together so we can help you decide what the best step is 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.

NEWTON AT A GLANCE


It’s been quite a year in Newton real estate wise.  So far this year 932 single family and condominiums sold!  On average it took 33 days to receive an offer that was 98% of the asking price.  The average sale price was $1,054,079, lowest list sale price was $232,000 and the highest sale price was $4,650,000. The sweet spot in the market is properties priced between 1 and 1.5 million dollars.  259 properties sold in that price range!  The least active price point was homes priced under 400K and homes priced over 4 million.  No surprise there since that is the top and bottom of market.

The market continues to be quite fluid.  We have low levels of inventory across all price ranges, with the exception of the over 3 million dollar mark.  There are only 128 single family homes on the market and 68 condos.  If you are thinking about selling and your house and it is in tip top shape, don’t wait until the spring.  Sell now while buyers are frantically trying to find a home.

Lowest Price: $232,000 Median Price: $914,250
Highest Price: $4,650,000 Average Price: $1,054,079
Total Market Volume: $987,671,758

 

Merry Christmas


Newton, MA.  December 24, 2014

 

Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas.  May your presence mean more than your presents in you loved one’s lives.

xoxo Margaret