MA. Realtor

U.S. Home Values Jump the Most Since 2006, Zillow Says


Best Realtor, Newton, MA.  newtonmasshomesforsale.com, Margaret Szerlip

 

U.S. Home Values Jump the Most Since 2006, Zillow Says

  • U.S. home values jumped 1.3 percent in the third quarter, the biggest gain since 2006, in an uneven recovery across the country, Zillow Inc. (Z) said.

The median value rose to $153,800 from $151,800 in the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Seattle-based property-data company said in a report today. It was the biggest increase in Zillow’s Home Value Index since the first quarter of 2006, when values rose 1.5 percent.

U.S. home values jumped 1.3 percent in the third quarter, the biggest gain since 2006, in an uneven recovery across the country, Zillow Inc. said.. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) — Adi Tatarko, founder of online-home remodeling service Houzz.com, talks about the outlook for the U.S. housing market and the focus of the website. Tatarko speaks with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Home prices are rising nationally as the U.S. unemploymentrate declines and buyers compete for a tightening supply of homes listed for sale. Still, values fell from the second quarter in 52 percent of markets covered by the index as the traditional homebuying season ended, according to Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“The housing market is on the mend, but the housing bottom will be a protracted one,” he said in a telephone interview. “We will see more muted appreciation in the near term before we get back to normal appreciation trends.”

In Phoenix, where investor demand is helping to boost prices, home values rose the most of the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, with a 5.9 percent increase from the second quarter, according to Zillow. They climbed 3.9 percent in Las Vegas and 3.8 percent in Denver, Zillow said.

Atlanta had the biggest drop in values, falling 2.2 percent from the previous three months, the data show. New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Cleveland were among other large metro areas where values declined.

Local Story

The recovery is uneven across the country because of local variations in foreclosure conditions and employment, Humphries said. Growing demand from investors and foreign buyers is helping to push up values in pockets that were hard-hit by the housing crash, he said.

“The local story for each metro is beginning to reassert itself,” Humphries said.

Zillow showed a drop in values for 17 of the 41 states it covers. Of the nine states considered U.S. presidential election battlegrounds, New Hampshire, North CarolinaOhio, Virginia andWisconsin had quarter-over-quarter declines, indicating that housing will be a key issue for many voters, the company said.

Values nationwide will increase 1.7 percent over the next year, according to Zillow’s projection. Of the 253 markets tracked by the forecast, 183 areas have hit bottom and another 41 will reach a floor in the next year, the company said.

Zillow measures the value of 100 million U.S. homes, regardless of whether they sold during the quarter, and calculates the median for its index. Other gauges, such as the S&P/Case-Shiller index, track purchase prices.

Real Estate is a supply and demand business….Newton has a very limited supply of housing currently listed for sale and that is the biggest driver of price increases.  If you are thinking of selling your home in the Newton/Brookline area please contact me at margaretszerlip@gmail.com or 617-921-6860.

 

 

Newton, MA. Real Estate by Zip Code 2011 vs. 2012


Newton, MA. Real Estate Prices.  Margaret Szerlip, newtonmasshomesfor sale.com, Top Broker Newton, MA.

Newton, MA.  Real Estate by Zip Code

Real Estate is local, very local.  The following is a break down of Newton by zip code, 2011 vs. 2012 thus far.  Please notice the price per square foot it is as important as could be in determining the price of a home.  A seller cannot get caught up in what their neighbor’s house sold for.  This price per square foot is also very indicative of condition.

Zip                  Units                         Average Sale Price               Average Price SQ FT

02458             51                                $954,000                               $310.00

02458             49                                $1086,000                            $330.00

02459             154                              $976,000                               $345.00

02459             135                              $997,000                               $335.00

02460                        25                     $694,000                              $333.00

02460                        3                        $806,000                              $326.00

02461             58                                $756,000                               $331.00

02461             37                                $683,000                              $337.00

02462             16                                $656,000                               $346.00

02462             11                                 $780,000                              $341.00

02464             14                                $534,000                               $286.00

02464             10                                $573,000                               $293.00

02465             88                               $793,000                               $329.00

02465             79                                $1,051,000                            $351.00

02467             24                                $1,262,000                            $380.00

02467             30                               $1,396,000                            $371.00

02468                        31                                $1,559,000                            $366.00

02468                        20                               $1,790,000                            $378.00

I am going to break these numbers down even further.

Chestnut Hill 02467 North of Rte.9

02467             13                                $1,703,000                            $422.00

02467             13                                $1892,000                            $430.00

Chestnut Hill South of Rte.9

02467             10                                $813,000                               $319.00

02467             17                                $1,011,000                            $315.00

It costs roughly $110.00 per square foot more to purchase a house north of Rte. 9 in the same zip code.

Same is true for West Newton, breaking out West Newton Hill

02465             24                                $1,559,000                            $420.00

02465             21                                $1,790,000                            $435.00

02465             73                                $577,000                               $305.00

02465             58                                $691,000                               $330.00

Again, it cost about $110.00 more per square foot to purchase on West Newton Hill.

I will now break down Newton Centre even further.  Newton Centre encompasses a vast area.  It stretches north slightly  beyond  Commonwealth Avenue, east to roughly  Hobart, west to Walnut Street and south, as far as Brookline Avenue. I will separate out the immediate vicinity surround Newton Centre and walkable to the T and shops.

02459             50                                $1,077,000                            $378.00

02459             104                              $918,000                               $334.00

Or roughly $44.00 more per square foot the closer to Newton Centre proper you are.

I would love to discuss this further with anyone who is interested.  617-921-6860

The Difference Between Excellent and Perfect


 

Newton, MA.  real estate, top Realtor Newton, MA.  newtonmasshomesforsale.com

 

The Difference Between Excellent and Perfect

by The KCM Crew on July 31, 2012

Why does a buyer or seller look for a real estate professional in today’s new market reality? There’s plenty of information readily available for them to look at and analyze as they’re going through the process.

That’s just the point. Information being readily available causes confusion. That’s when people seek out professionals (whether it be a doctor, lawyer, or real estate professional) for an analysis of the information and their situation. Because of the wealth of information available, people are yearning for expert advice.

Don’t be afraid of those two words. Remember:

  • An expert doesn’t mean you’re going to give perfect advice.
  • An expert means you’re going to give excellent advice.

Here’s the difference:

If you go to a doctor with a serious illness, she can’t tell you how it’s all going to wind up in the end. She doesn’t know. If she did, that would be perfect advice.

However, your doctor can give you excellent advice in that she can tell you about your illness and your options, whether it be surgery or medications. She can also explain what she believes to be the best option for you based on your history, symptoms, and overall health. Ultimately, though, you’re going to make the final decision of whether you go through with the treatment plan.

Once you make that decision, your doctor will take you by the hand and walk you down the road to recovery. She will explain to you that there might be adjustments that need to be made to the treatment plan, because no one can know for certain how things will turn out. She might have to adjust your medications or increase or decrease your treatment schedule. But every step of the way, she’s there with you, helping you get to your ultimate goal. This is called excellent advice.

Similarly, if you went to an attorney, he can’t tell you how the case is going to end up or how the judge or jury will rule. That would be perfect advice. What a good attorney can do is explain your options. He might pick one or two options he believes to be the best ones to pursue. He will then leave you to make the decision on which option you want to take. Once you decide, he will help put a plan together based on the facts at hand. He will help you get to the best possible resolution of the case. And along the way, he’ll make whatever changes are needed. This is excellent advice.

Your role as a real estate professional is similar to the role of the doctor and lawyer. You can’t give buyers or sellers perfect advice because you don’t know what’s going to happen—you can’t predict the future. However, you can give excellent advice based on the information and situation at hand. You can guide them through the process and help them make the necessary changes along the way. And that’s exactly what your clients deserve…and want!

 

Stunned Buyers are Finding Bidding Wars Are Back!


 

Newton, MA. Top Realtor, Newtonmasshomesforsale.com, Buyer and Seller Agent, Newton, MA

WSJ

A new development is catching home buyers off guard as the spring sales season gets under way: Bidding wars are back.

From California to Florida, many buyers are increasingly competing for the same house. Unlike the bidding wars that typified the go-go years and largely reflected surging sales, today’s are a result of supply shortages.

[BIDWARS] Peter Earl McCollough for The Wall Street JournalDebbie and Bill Wetherell received multiple offers for their home.

“It’s a little surprising because we thought bidding wars were done with,” said Andy Aley, who is looking to buy his first home in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The 31-year-old attorney was outbid this year when he offered up to $23,000 above the $357,000 listing price and agreed to waive inspections and other closing conditions.

Competitive bidding in the current environment isn’t producing huge price increases or leaving sellers with hefty profits, as occurred during the housing boom. Still, the bidding wars caused by tight inventory provide the latest evidence that housing demand is starting to pick up after a six-year-long slump.

An index that measures the number of contracts signed to purchase previously owned homes rose in March to its highest level in nearly two years, up 12.8% from a year ago and 4.1% from February, the National Association of Realtors reported on Thursday.

“We very much believe we’ve hit bottom,” said Ivy Zelman, chief executive of a research firm, who was among the first to warn of a downturn seven years ago. Earlier this week, she raised her home-price forecast for the year, calling for a 1% annual gain, up from a 1% decline.

The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey found that the inventory of homes listed for sale declined sharply in all 28 markets tracked. Real-estate agents consider a market balanced when there is a six-month supply of homes for sale. At the height of the housing crisis, in 2008, there was an 11.1-months’ supply. In March, there was a 6.3-months’ supply.

Inventory levels in many markets were at the lowest level in years. At the current pace of sales, it would take just 1.5 months to sell all the homes listed in Sacramento, Calif., and 2.4 months to sell all the homes listed in Phoenix. San Francisco and Washington, D.C., each have 3.4 months of supply, while Miami has 4.1 months of supply.

Other markets have plenty of homes. Chicago, for example, has 9.4 months of supply, while New York’s Long Island has 16.1 months of supply. Even in those markets, the number of houses for sale is edging down.

Increased competition is frustrating buyers and their agents. “We’re writing a record number of offers, but we’re not seeing a record number of closings and that’s because it’s so competitive,” said Glenn Kelman, chief executive of real-estate brokerage Redfin Corp. in Seattle with offices in 14 states.

Nearly 83% of offers that Redfin agents have made on behalf of clients in the San Francisco Bay area this year and 71% in Southern California have had competing bids. Redfin represented a buyer that made the winning bid on a Gaithersburg, Md., home earlier this month after agreeing to adopt the dog of the seller, who was relocating and looking to find a new home for “Buddy,” a white toy poodle.

Inventories are declining for a number of reasons. Some sellers, unwilling to accept prices that are still down from their peak by one-third, are taking their homes off the market in anticipation of higher prices down the road. Meanwhile, investors have been outmaneuvering consumers for the best properties, often making cash offers that are quickly accepted by sellers.

In addition, some economists say that inventory levels are being held artificially low because Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the nation’s biggest banks have been slow to list for sale hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes they currently own. The lenders slowed down foreclosure sales and repossessions after record-keeping abuses surfaced 18 months ago.

Banks and other mortgage investors owned nearly 450,000 foreclosed properties at the end of March, and another two million mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure.

Inventories could rise, putting more pressure on prices, if the banks and other lenders step up their efforts to sell their properties. Real-estate agents say they aren’t concerned. “There’s an enormous appetite for foreclosures. Release the inventory. It will sell,” said Richard Smith, chief executive of Realogy Corp., which owns the Coldwell Banker and Century 21 real-estate brands.

[BIDWARS]

The declining inventory of older homes is spurring sales of new homes. New home sales are up 16% so far this year, compared with a year ago, while inventories of new homes fell in March to their lowest level since record keeping began in 1963.

Meritage Homes Corp., a builder based in Scottsdale, Ariz., reported Thursday a 36% increase in orders for the quarter ending in March versus the previous-year period.

Even though bidding wars are pushing prices higher, many homes are still selling for prices far lower than a few years ago. Increased demand is “entirely affordability driven, which tells me there will be strong resistance to price increases” by buyers, says Jeffrey Otteau, president of Otteau Valuation Group, an East Brunswick, N.J., appraisal firm.

Rents are rising at a time when mortgage rates have fallen to very low levels. The result is that the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home is lower than any time since the 1990s. Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that mortgage rates fell to 3.88% for the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage, near its lowest recorded level.

Rates are “so low that we can afford a house that was out of our price range before,” said Aarthi Srinivasan, who is looking with her husband for a home around Palo Alto, Calif., one of the country’s hottest real-estate markets.

Ms. Srinivasan says she fears that prices are being bid up too quickly. She says she had her “aha moment” earlier this year while touring a 50-year-old house that needed extensive remodeling. The home, listed at $1.1 million, received nearly 10 offers and eventually went under contract for more than $1.3 million to a buyer who hadn’t even viewed the property.

“There are only so many buyers who are going to be in such a hurry, so we’re hoping it’ll top off soon,” she says. On Monday, they offered to pay more than the $1.2 million list price for a four-bedroom, bank-owned foreclosure. They haven’t found out if they made the top bid.

On the other side of those transactions are sellers like Debbie and Bill Wetherell, who had 17 offers in four days for their four-bedroom home in Danville, Calif. “I was floored. It was so fast, it was surreal,” says Ms. Wetherell. The home sold on Wednesday for $796,000, more than $50,000 above the asking price.

Still, the sale is for nearly $180,000 less than what they paid for the house in 2005. Ms. Wetherell’s husband has commuted to Reno, Nev., for five years and they have decided to relocate.

Housing markets face other headwinds. More than 11 million homeowners owe more than their home is worth. It is a big reason that the “trade-up” market has been stalled. These homeowners can’t sell their current homes, let alone come up with the down payment for their next home.

Mortgage-lending standards remain tough. Real-estate agents say an unusually high share of deals are falling apart because homes won’t appraise at the price that buyers have agreed to pay sellers.

Still, borrowers with stable jobs are looking to make deals. Kelly Pajela-Fu and her husband offered to pay the asking price of $600,000 for a four-bedroom home in Marblehead, Mass., within a day of the property hitting the market.

“We just knew this house would go quickly,” says Ms. Pajela-Fu, a 31-year-old doctor who had lost out on an earlier offer. Their strategy to avoid a bidding war paid off: The sellers accepted their offer before having an open house.

 

 

Positive Thinking: 7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day


Newton, MA.  Realtor, Newton, MA. homes for sale, Top Realtor Newton, MA.

I needed to hear this today…….

Positive Thinking: 7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day

Don’t let a bad morning ruin your entire day. Use these mental tricks to change your momentum.

Positive Thinking Hot Air Balloon

 

Had a lousy morning? Things looking grim?

Not to worry. The rest of your day need not be a disaster. It can in fact become one of your best, providing you take these simple steps:

1. Remember that the past does not equal the future.

There is no such thing as a “run of bad luck.” The reason people believe such nonsense is that the human brain creates patterns out of random events and remembers the events that fit the pattern.

2. Refuse to make self-fulfilling prophesies. 

If you believe the rest of your day will be as challenging as what’s already happened, then rest assured: You’ll end up doing something (or saying) something that will make sure that your prediction comes true.

3. Get a sense of proportion.

Think about the big picture: Unless something life-changing has happened (like the death of a loved one), chances are that in two weeks, you’ll have forgotten completely about whatever it was that has your shorts in a twist today.

4. Change your threshold for “good” and “bad.”

Decide that a good day is any day that you’re above ground. Similarly, decide that a bad day is when somebody steals your car and drives it into the ocean. Those types of definitions make it easy to be happy–and difficult to be sad.

5. Improve your body chemistry.

Your body and brain are in a feedback loop: A bad mood makes you tired, which makes your mood worse, and so forth. Interrupt the pattern by getting up and moving around.  Take a walk or eat something healthy.

6. Focus on what’s going well.

The primary reason you’re convinced it’s a bad day is that you’re focusing on whatever went wrong. However, for everything going badly, there are probably dozens of things going well.  Make list, and post it where it’s visible.

7. Expect something wondrous.

Just as an attitude of doom and gloom makes you see more problems, facing the future with a sense of wonder makes you alive to all sorts of wonderful things that are going on, right now, everywhere around you.

Home Sales Reach Two-Year High as U.S. Rates Fall


Newton, MA.  Realtor  Newton, MA.  Homes fro Sale

Reported by BLOOMBERG TODAY JUNE,25, 2010

Demand for new U.S. homes rose more than forecast in May as mortgage rates dropped, bolstering the residential real-estate market while other parts of the world’s largest economy cool.

June 25 (Bloomberg) — Demand for new U.S. homes rose more than forecast in May as mortgage rates dropped, bolstering the residential real-estate market while other parts of the world’s largest economy cool. Erik Schatzker reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The deck of a Toll Brothers Inc. model home stands in Randolph, New Jersey. Falling borrowing costs and more affordable properties may keep luring buyers, even as a cooling job market and limited access to credit restrain the recovery. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

Sponsored Links

Purchases climbed to a 369,000 annual rate, the most since April 2010 and up 7.6 percent from the prior month, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 67 economists was 347,000. The number of houses on the market held near a record low.

Falling borrowing costs may keep luring buyers to builders like Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL), even as a cooling job market and limited access to credit restrain the recovery. The Federal Reserve last week extended a program to keep long-term interest rates low in a bid to reduce unemployment, sustain housing and prevent a global slowdown from stalling the expansion.

“It’s another sign of life in the housing sector,” said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist for Societe Generale SA in New York, who forecast a gain to 362,000. “It’s consistent with a gradual improvement in activity, but we’ve got miles to go before we get back to normal.”

Stocks dropped amid concern that a meeting of European leaders later this week will fail to help contain the region’s debt crisis. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.6 percent to 1,313.72 at the 4 p.m. close in New York. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.60 percent from 1.68 percent late on June 22.

BIS Report

Elsewhere, the Basel, Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements said in its annual report published yesterday that central banks in developed nations are confronting the limits of their ability to aid economic recovery as government efforts to strengthen finances fall short.

Bloomberg survey estimates for U.S. new-home sales, which are counted when contracts are signed, ranged from 327,000 to 375,000. The April reading was unrevised at the previously estimated 343,000, while March and February were revised up.

The median sales price increased 5.6 percent from the same month last year, to $234,500, today’s report showed. Prices have climbed on a 12-month basis since February, the best performance in five years.

Purchases rose in two of four U.S. regions last month, led by a 37 percent jump in the Northeast, while the South climbed 13 percent. Demand dropped 11 percent in the Midwest and 3.5 percent in the West.

Lean Supply

The number of newly constructed houses on the market was at 145,000 compared with the record low of 144,000 reached in April and March. The record high of 572,000 was reached in July 2006. The supply of new houses on the market at the current sales pace dropped to 4.7 months, the lowest since October 2005, from 5 months in April.

In response to improving demand, builders broke ground on 516,000 single-family houses last month at an annual pace, up 3.2 percent from April and the most this year, the Commerce Department reported last week.

The Washington-based National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index rose by 1 point this month to 29, the highest since May 2007, another report last week showed.

Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, on May 23 reported second-quarter profit that beat estimates as orders jumped.

Suppliers Benefit

United Technologies Corp. (UTX) and Lennox International Inc. (LII), makers of heating and air conditioning units, are among companies benefitting from developers’ positive outlook. Lennox, based in Richardson, Texas, had a 40 percent increase in sales to new-home builders in the first quarter. United Technologies, in Hartford, Connecticut, forecasts about 700,000 housing starts this year, Chief Financial Officer Gregory Hayes said.

“The expectation is we’re not going to see a huge recovery in the U.S. residential marketplace, but we should see a steady recovery,” Hayes said at a June 14 conference. “Residential is coming back, but it’s very, very slow.”

The stabilization in housing has boosted builder shares this year. The Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilder Index has climbed 33 percent this year through June 22, compared with a 6.2 percent gain for the broader S&P 500.

Residential construction hasn’t contributed to economic growth over the course of an entire year since 2005, when it accounted for 0.4 percentage point of the 3.1 percent increase in gross domestic product. From 2006 through 2009, the homebuilding slump subtracted 0.8 percent point from growth on average. The declines diminished over the past two years.

Shrinking Share

Newly constructed houses made up 6.7 percent of the residential market last year, down from a high of 15 percent during the boom of the past decade.

Sales of existing homes declined in May as fewer distressed properties reached the market, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. The decline in transactions involving foreclosures and short sales, where a lender agrees to accept less than the balance of the mortgage, helped push the median price of a previously owned house up 7.9 percent from the same time last year, the biggest 12-month gain since February 2006.

Less competition from existing houses and even lower mortgage rates may keep spurring the market. The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 3.66 percent last week, the lowest in data going back to 1972, according to Freddie Mac.

The central bank last week aimed to keep borrowing costs low. Policy makers announced they will expand the Operation Twist program to extend the maturities of assets on its balance sheet. They said they stood ready to take further action to put unemployed Americans back to work. Fed officials also lowered their outlook for growth and employment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorraine Woellert in Washington at lwoellert@bloomberg.net

HOUSING PRICES TO INCREASE SAYS HUD…?


Newton, MA.  Realtor…not sure I agree with sustainable price increases beginning this fall.

Prices for U.S. homes may climb as soon as the third quarter, ending declines as foreclosures decline make more home available for sale, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.

“It’s very unlikely that we will see a significant further decline,” Donovan said yesterday on CNN. “The real question is when will we start to see sustainable increases. Some think it will be as early as the end of this summer or this fall.”

Home sales have increased in six out of the past nine months and the number of property owners in default is declining, Donovan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. Housing prices will begin rising as the number of foreclosures declines, he said.

“In the long run, it’s a good time to buy,” Donovan said. “It’s so affordable today compared to where it’s been for generations.”

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose 8.2 percent in May, following a revised 11 percent drop in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors said on June 29. A separate report by the Chicago-based group on June 21 showed sales of existing houses, which make up about 96 percent of the market, declined in May to a six-month low.

Home prices fell 4 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest drop in 17 months for the S&P/Case-Shiller index of values in 20 cities.

An estimated 1.7 million U.S. homes were in the foreclosure process and expected to be put on the market as of April, down 18 percent from the peak, as fewer loans entered delinquency and more distressed homes were sold, CoreLogic Inc. said in a report on June 22.

Shadow Inventory

The so-called shadow inventory represented a five-month supply at the current sales pace, theSanta Ana, California- based real-estate information company reported. The inventory’s size is a barometer of housing-market health because foreclosed homes sell for lower prices and falling values discourage buying, said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

Donovan said lenders are adding requirements “that don’t make sense” for risky borrowers after the government, through the Federal Housing Administration, raised the minimum down payments for a house purchase.

“We can’t over correct,” Donovan said. “We can’t go so far in the other direction that we cut off homeownership for people who really can be successful homeowners.”

Encouraging home ownership should avoid giving buyers an expectation of making $1 million overnight, Donovan said. “We can get back to the place where it’s a good investment and we will be able to make money over ti