MA. Listing Agent

Newton and Brookline Real Estate Recap


Newton, MA. Brookline, Sotheby’s Compass, Suburban Boston Team

 

The Rundown

Spring events in Brookline are in full bloom and Newton passes another law on going green. We’re also taking a closer look at the local real estate market. Keep reading to learn more about what’s coming to your neighborhood in May!

New & Noteworthy

Five Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Spring can be the perfect time for first-time home buyers to begin their search. Read up on some tips on how to navigate the marketplace here.

Brookline Single-Family Home Prices Proven to Increase
No need to worry about value when buying a home in Brookline. Brookline saw single-family prices increase between 2005’s market peak and 2011’s bottom. Learn more about some of the top spots to buy in Greater Boston here.

Newton Bans Plastic Stirrers and 

Polystyrene Food Containers

Newton passed a law that will ban restaurants from the use of plastic stirrers and polystyrene to-go containers. The ban will be effective as of January 2020. Learn more about how Newton is going green here.

Market Snapshot
Nesting
Etsy’s 2019 Home Decor Trends Will Have You Inspired 

Etsy has declared 2019 the year of maximalism–think statement home decor accents, bold patterns, and vibrant hues. Read all about the latest trends here on Elle Decor.

3 Ways to Give Your Bed a Much-Needed Spring Refresh

You’ll spend a third of your life sleeping, so it’s important to keep your bed in tip-top shape. Learn how to properly care for your mattress, bedding, and pillows here on Apartment Therapy.

Mark Your Calendar

The Shop on Washington Mother’s Day Pop-up | May 2-5 and 8-11

A special Mother’s Day pop-up shop is coming to Newtonville for two weekends in May. The shop will feature a variety of locally-based brands for gifting. Check out the schedule of workshops and events here.

ART Off The Wall | May 11

The fifth annual ART Off The Wall is returning to Brookline this spring. The event features works by artists who support the mission of the Brookline Arts Center. Learn more about the participating artists and purchase your tickets here.

Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival | 

May 18 

The Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival began as a celebration to honor the donation of cherry trees to Brookline High School from the Consul of Japan. The annual event features food, games, and music for the whole family. View the schedule of events for the day here.

Featured Listings
West Newton

The finest example of a Queen Anne on coveted West Newton Hill

Priced at $3,600,000

Margaret Szerlip

617.921.6860

 

margaret@compass.com

© Compass 2019 ¦ All Rights Reserved by Compass ¦ Made in NYC

Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins


Newton, MA, Compass, Sotheby’s Newton’s Top Brokers

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

Last fall, some predicted that the 2019 residential real estate market would be a disaster. There was even belief we might experience a housing crash like the one that occurred during the last decade.

However, according to two separate reports*, buyer demand dramatically increased over the last three months, leading into this spring buyers’ market (the March data is not yet available).

Both the ShowingTime Showing Index and the National Association of REALTORS Buyer Traffic Index show that buyer demand has increased in each of the last three months.

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

Why the increase in demand? Increased buying power.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, purchasing a home has become more affordable, which has led to increased demand.

“Due to the combination of falling home prices and mortgage rates, the income needed to make an affordable mortgage payment (mortgage no more than 25% of income) on a median-priced home with 10% down payment and 30-year fixed rate mortgage decreased from $60,425 in June 2018 to $53,783 as of February 2019, and the difference of $6,642 represents a gain in buying power because one can afford a home purchase at a lower level of income.”

Bottom Line

It appears the spring buyers’ market is going to be much stronger than many had projected. Whether you are selling or buying, this is important news.

 

*The methodology behind the indices:

The ShowingTime Showing Index

“The ShowingTime Showing Index® tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends.”

The National Association of REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index

“In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, NAR asks respondents ‘Compared to the same month last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?’ NAR compiles the responses into an index, where an index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” traffic than “weaker” traffic.”

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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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).”

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb


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

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb | MyKCM

Across the United States, there is a severe mismatch between the low number of houses for sale and the high demand for those houses! First-time homebuyers are out in force and are being met with a highly competitive summer real estate market.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale “has fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months,” and now stands at a 4.1-month supply. A 6-month supply of inventory is necessary for a balanced market and has not been seen since August of 2012.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,

“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season – as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand.

That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”

Is There Any Relief Coming?

According to the CoreLogic’s 2018 Consumer Housing Sentiment Study, four times as many renters are considering buying homes in the next 12 months than homeowners who are planning to sell, “which is the crux of the available housing-supply imbalance.”

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb | MyKCM

As more and more renters realize the benefits of homeownership, the demand for housing will continue to rise.

Do homeowners realize demand is so high? With home prices rising across the country, homeowners gained over a trillion dollars in equity over the last 12 months, with the average homeowner gaining over $16,000!

The map below shows the breakdown by state:

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb | MyKCM

Many homeowners who have not thought about listing their homes may not even realize how much equity they have gained, or the opportunity available to them in today’s market!

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners across the country who hasn’t quite found their forever home, now may be a great time to list your house for sale and find your dream 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’s Largest Homes


Newton Top Realtor, Compass, Top 20 Realtor

How much is too much or is there no such thing?  Take a look and do let me know.

Newton’s Largest Homes

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