Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap

Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap

Newton, MA.  11:OOAM EST

Oh my there is no inventory and we will have the latest spring market in decades.  I have said many times that the average number of homes for sale in Newton during a “normal” market is about 200.  That gives us a 4-6 month supply.  I cannot remember the last time there were a mere 66 homes for sale across all price ranges in Newton.  There are only 11 homes for sale under 1 Million dollars!  The most inventory is in homes priced between 2 million and 2.5 million.  Let me say that if your home is listed under 1.5 million dollars for more than a week without an offer, your price is too high.  It’s not your agent’s fault or the weather; it’s the price!

15 Homes went under contract in the past 2 weeks about 25% of the market.  Interestingly, the most active segment was between 2 million and 2.5 million.  There are buyers in every price point from the most inexpensive homes (for Newton) to the most expensive.  Buyers are desperately waiting for more homes to hit the market.  If your home has not sold and you have not received any offers, you are in fact helping to sell your competition.

So repair your ice dam damage and get your home ready for a sale.  Call me at 617-921-6860 or


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:31:27 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
 03/09/2015  3/9/2015
Price Range Number of
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999 3 119 3 119
$600,000 – $699,999 2 68 2 68
$700,000 – $799,999 2 155 2 155
$800,000 – $899,999 2 99 2 99
$900,000 – $999,999 2 59 2 111
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 63 11 63
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 13 114 13 114
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 15 162 15 162
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 8 152 8 152
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 7 224 7 225
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 76 1 76
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 66 Avg. 130 66 Avg. 132
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474


Pending Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:56:13 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 02/20/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999
$900,000 – $999,999 1 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 3 4
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 1 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 5 3 2
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 18 10 8 0 0
Lowest Price: $669,000 Median Price: $1,435,000
Highest Price: $2,650,000 Average Price: $1,645,333
Total Market Volume: $29,616,000


Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:35:22 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 02/23/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Sale Price
List Price
Orig Price
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 8 8 $520,000 $489,000 106 $489,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 1 4 4 $604,500 $598,000 101 $598,000 101
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 3 24 17 $884,667 $866,333 102 $866,333 102
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 2 11 11 $1,347,750 $1,377,000 98 $1,377,000 98
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 97 75 $1,798,333 $1,865,667 96 $1,899,333 95
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 45 45 $2,280,000 $2,399,000 95 $2,399,000 95
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 310 310 $2,560,000 $2,995,000 85 $3,500,000 73
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 100 74 $3,650,000 $3,795,000 96 $3,795,000 96
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 13 Avg. 65 Avg. 57 $1,566,077 $1,632,769 98 $1,679,385 97
Lowest Price: $520,000 Median Price: $1,395,500
Highest Price: $3,650,000 Average Price: $1,566,077
Total Market Volume: $20,359,000

Real Estate 101 — Supply and Demand


Two Graphs that Scream – List Your Home Today!

Real Estate 101 — It’s a supply and demand business.

Two Graphs that Scream - List Your Home Today | Keeping Current Matters

We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand. If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now. Here is why…


According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity last month (January) was three times greater than it was last January. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market at great numbers.Buyer Demand | Keeping Current Matters


The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed that the months’ supply of housing inventory had fallen to 4.4 months which is the lowest it has been in over a year. Months Inventory of Homes for Sale | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Listing your house for sale when demand is high and supply is low will guarantee the offers made will truly reflect the true value of your property.

Members: Sign in now to set up your Personalized Posts & start sharing today!

Not a Member Yet? Click Here to learn more about KCM‘s newest feature, Personalized Posts.

Have You Set Up Personalized Posts Yet? | Keeping Current Matters



8 Ascenta Terrace Under Agreement

8 Ascenta Terrace Under Agreement

Posted by margaret Szerlip November 14, 2014 Newton, MA.

Under Agreement 8 ASCENTA TERRACE, WEST NEWTON HILL.  Closing early to mid January


8 Ascenta Terrace

8 Ascenta Front IIA California Bungalow on West Newton Hill. This former ranch was transformed in 2004 with the addition of a family room and a most serene 2nd floor Master Bedroom Suite. An inviting home which feels sunny, warm and expansive. Extremely flexible floor plan allows for 1st or 2nd floor master. Timeless cherry kitchen features high-end appliances and granite counters which flows into a spacious family room. The private yard is large and level. The property also features a covered porch and deck which can be accessed from the dining room or family room. 2004 kitchen, baths, electric, plumbing, HVAC, roof, windows etc. 15,000+ level lot may be suitable for a builder.



8 Ascenta Kitchen 8 Ascenta Family Room II8 Ascenta Master Bedroom II


Put Your Money in Real Estate

With the stock market tanking it may be time to take your money out and buy real estate.

Newton is Considering A One Year Demolition Moratorium

for sale sign


Newton Toying With a One Year Demolition Moratorium

Newton, MA. Real Estate , Sotheby’s Newton, MA.



I stated in my last post that I was going to try to address the proposed One Year Moratorium on Tear Downs in Newton. On September 4th, Alderwoman Amy Sangiolo has made a motion on “behalf of concerned citizens requesting a one year moratorium on the demolition of single and two-famly homes.”  The purpose of this moratorium is unclear.  The problem has been defined as the following:

What’s Being Lost”

  • Integrity and Character of Existing Neighborhoods
  • Moderately Priced houses–less than $800,000
  • Historic Houses
  • Mature tree canopy and neighborhood green space
  • Socio-economic and generational diversity

What’s Replacing It:

  • Houses out of character and scale with neighborhood context
  • McMansions Out of Character
  • Snout Houses
  • Linguine Houses
  • Added Density
  • Physical and Fiscal Impacts on Infrastructure

I have a lot to say about this and I’m not sure where to begin.  First off I believe we have a zoning problem not a building problem.  If you want to curb McMansions than limit the size of a house based on the lot size.  That’s easy, we have made it a problem because of special permits and variances.  I have to laugh at the moderately priced homes under $800,000 comment.  Who are we kidding, there are NO moderately priced homes in Newton.  There is not one home listed under $450,000 and the Massachusetts  average is $322,000.  The average price of a home for sale in Newton is currently over 1 million dollars.  Snout houses for those who don’t know are houses with the garages added onto the front of a home.  I have absolutely no idea what a linguini house is.  Snout houses are ugly for sure, but people buy them because they want a garage.independt living pictureas

Added density and socio economic/ generational diversity go hand in hand.  You cannot have it both ways.  The only way to increase the inventory of lower priced homes is to build townhouses and multi-families and apartments.  But the neighbors don’t like that so they go down to the special permit hearings or Historic Committee hearings and fight for the status quo.  Has there ever been a time in history where people say we love change?  Our leaders must have the confidence to stand up to these people and do what is right for everyone.  I had a neighbor that added a huge addition and I hated it, but I got over it. The land is too expensive for a developer to build a small house.  It just doesn’t work that way.   Newton has a significant number of homes in Waban, Newton Centre, West Newton Hill,  Chestnut Hill, Auburndale and the Highlands that were built in the late 19th century and the early 20th century that are basically historic McMansion’s.  I am sure that many people thought these homes were ugly and out of character 100 years ago.  So many of Newton’s “moderately priced hosing stock” consists of smaller Colonials on the north side of town and splits and ranches on the south side.  These homes have become functionally obsolete.  Today’s buyers want an open concept first floor — period.  They don’t want a family room and a living room and a sun-room and a dining room separated by walls.  They want an open concept kitchen/ family room and a dining room that can also serve as an office.  So the floor plan of yesterday no longer works.  In expensive homes those buyers want the same thing on a larger scale.  They may have the unused living room set up with a pool table.  Younger buyers want to have fun in their homes.  They want to play pool or ping-pong and watch movies in their media rooms.  And who are we to judge what people want.  Builders MUST build what a buyer wants to buy.  It costs more money to renovate than rebuild.  Which brings me to the possibility of a design review process.  Wellesley currently does this and now Wellesley has big houses that all look the same.  We are not a socialist country and we cannot legislate taste.  I sell real estate, what one person hates another loves.  It’s a zoning issue.

One of the things I really liked about Newton was its diversity and sadly that is disappearing.  But isn’t it the Alderman who approved the building of The Street?  My God the average upper middle class person with two kids can’t really afford to shop in most of the stores.  The movie theatre costs twice as much as a normal theatre.  The restaurants are not a place where the average homeowner goes for a bite.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t say we want generation and socio-economic diversity and build an outdoor mall that most of your citizens can’t afford to shop and NONE of the lower-income people can even dream about shopping at.  It’s like the affordable housing units in luxury building in Manhattan where the affordable people have a separate entrance.

I think some of the Alderman complaining are responsible for the current state.  The process is unfair.  You can’t approve some changes and then say, oh we approved too many and the neighborhood is changing so now we have to put the brakes on.  The Historic Committee and the Building Department and the Alderman each have a few members with a chip on their shoulders.  Their minds are made up before they even hear the findings.

Like it or not the horse is out of the barn.  Newton is not affordable and I don’t see how we make it affordable unless we make some zoning changes.  We can approve multi families and townhouses on busier streets close to the town centers.  Builders need incentive to build here.  If we arbitrarily have a moratorium builders will go somewhere else because it will become untenable to do conduct business here.  Let’s hope for a thoughtful process that can meet the needs of most of the residents of Newton.



The Tear Down Conundrum

The Tear Down Conundrum

Newton, MA.  Realtor  Sotheby’s Newton, MA

for sale sign

 I am reposting this blog and next week I will update you with what is happening (or not) in Newton regarding the proposed building moratorium.  


Last week I had the unfortunate experience of attending a Newton Historic meeting.  A client purchased a house on the south side of Newton.  The house is an average home built in 1959 in a modern style.  By today’s standard the house doesn’t really work.  The bedrooms and baths are very small and closet space is lacking.  The kitchen is a small box with the original appliances.  The oven is sooo cute but has the capacity of an easy bake oven.  The yard is very large and flat and the lot size is well above average for Newton.  The client brought her contractor to the house and the contractor said it would actually cost more money to renovate and expand than tear the house down and build new.  The couple was undecided if they wanted to tackle a new house design and build but decided we should start the process in case that was the route they wanted to take.

We asked the seller to apply for a demolition permit to speed the process along.  Any structure that is more than 50 years old requires a historic review.  Often times this is just a formality.  The staff member pulls the building jacket and digs around to find the history of the house and the neighborhood.  The applicant must bring pictures of the exterior of the house from all angles and the surrounding properties.  After reviewing the pictures, considering the findings presented and listening to the neighbors object to every request, someone on the commission makes a motion, someone else seconds and the commission votes.  The choices are Preferably NOT Preserved or Preferably Preserved.  Not preferably preserved gives the owner the green light to proceed with demolition.  Preferably preserved comes with a one year delay in tearing the home down or in special cases an 18 month delay.  After one year, the owner can tear the house down at will!  As far as I can tell most people in the audience were not aware that once the owner waited out the year they could build ANYTHING as long as it met with zoning guidelines.

Personally, I am not advocating for more or less leniency regarding teardowns.  I was appalled at the rudeness and lack of respect 2 members of the commission displayed.  I did get the sense that these two members had little regard for what was brought forth and had already made up their minds.  What I do know is that every neighborhood changes and evolves.  I am sickened by some of the ugly cookie cutter homes that builders put up with no thought to the lot or neighborhood.  Nevertheless, people do buy these homes and I do not think we should be legislating taste.

I am in complete agreement with the zoning changes implemented in 2011 to prevent monstrosities from being built on tiny lots.  I am perplexed why some permits are granted and some are not.  I get the feeling neighbors get upset that their neighborhood is changing and go to these meeting to fight for the status quo.  I understand they are afraid that the new owner will build a hideous house and cause a disruption on their street.  What I would like to see more of, is neighbors working with neighbors to create a home that brings a 21st century vibe while the new construction improves the whole neighborhood instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

There was one particular case at last week’s meeting.  A home was purchased in April and some serious problems came to light, the owners thought it was more prudent to build new rather than fix the many structural problems they encountered.  The owners hired an architect who designed a more current larger version of the old house but still worked beautifully with the neighborhood.  The neighbors loved the house and were supportive of the demolition.  In another case I was taken aback by neighbors’ objections to a  house being taken down because the foliage was so special.  I kid you not – the discussion dragged on about his “beautiful” foliage which consisted of rose bushes hanging over a chain link fence.  Many neighbors concerns revolved around the fact that there are too many development projects and the feel of their neighborhood is changing.  My answer to that is time does not stand still.  This is the perfect opportunity for the developer/owner to work with the neighbors to design a house that works with the surroundings.  It can be done and has been done…attend a special permitting hearing and you’ll be flabbergasted about your own neighbors’ behavior.  You’ll want to lock up your kids and dog and pray they don’t own a gun!



I am torn between property rights and neighborhood concerns.  Newton is becoming a town that is unaffordable to most people.  Single-family homes under 500,000 no longer exist here.  Areas that were once inhabited by working class immigrant families are being scooped up by upwardly mobile yuppies and new immigrants.  Will this change the fabric of Newton?  It already has, in ways good and not so good.  Like it or not developers are paying more money for homes than end users.  Is it right to deny seniors the opportunity to make the most amount of money possible to supplement their retirement?  Is it right to say yes to one tear down and no to another simply because too many teardowns are occurring and the feel of the neighborhood is changing?  Remember after waiting one year the owner has the right to tear down his home and build the ugliest house possible if it meets zoning and set back guidelines.  I have to believe that we can do more to promote good will among neighbors.  I think the Historic Commission has a responsibility to promote harmony not discord.   Humans don’t like change but we can’t stop progress simply because change is hard.  I’m sure it was incredibly hard when the Mass Pike tore Newton in half.  However, can we deny that the convenience the Mass Pike offers is part of the appeal of Newton?   I look at my neighborhood and I witness incredible change, some I like and some I don’t.  The most valuable thing I have learned in the past 20 years is not to pass judgment until the project is completed.  Most often, once the house is landscaped it fits in.  Maybe we should require a landscaping plan to go along with architectural plans.  There is certainly more we can do to keep moving forward in a thoughtful way without creating so much tension between neighbors.


Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to Do It Alone

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


Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to Do It Alone

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 04:00 AM PDT Another great topic from my friends at  KCM CREW

Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to Do It Alone | Keeping Current Matters

Last week, Discover Home Loans released an interesting survey which revealed how prepared home buyers are for the actual mortgage process. The survey reported that 94 percent of prospective buyers believe they are making a good investment decision if they buy a home. The survey also explained that 66 percent of buyers reach out to real estate agents to help determine whether buying a certain home would be a good investment. However, there is less certainty regarding the mortgage process.

Most buyers overwhelmed

The majority of potential buyers are actually overwhelmed with the plethora of information available about the home financing process.  Here are some interesting highlights from the report:

  • Nearly 66% feel overwhelmed with the amount of information available
  • 76% of those under the age of 30 feel overwhelmed
  • 76% of first time buyers feel the same way
  • 54% of those buyers who have previously owned also were overwhelmed
  • 59% of buyers turn to mortgage bankers to help evaluate mortgage terms and comparing offers
  • 49% of buyers turn to real estate agents to help evaluate mortgage terms and comparing offers

There is help available…use it!

Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans, gives great advice:

“The industry is becoming more transparent in an effort to help homebuyers become informed about changes that may affect their process. The sheer amount of information can lead to confusion and stress. Those looking to purchase should work closely with their lender and realtor to make sure they are comfortable with mortgage terms and understand the impact a loan will have on their finances.”

Bottom Line

The purchasing of a home can put great pressure on a family. Reach out to the qualified mortgage and real estate professionals in your market for assistance throughout the process.