Heating Up

Although we're done with winter now and the days are getting warmer, when I say things are heating up, I don't mean the weather... nice as it is to see warm, sunny days again. What I am referencing is how hot our real estate market is across Greater Boston... well, except for an area or two. Suffice to say

March. Sales. Were. Incredible!

And now the question is, what will the rest of the year be like? The quick answer depends upon supply and demand. Unfortunately, no one knows how much supply will be available from which buyers can choose. Naturally, there are always greedy sellers who overprice their properties intentionally or who are misguided by improper representation. Those will remain on the market in perpetuity until those sellers become motivated enough to lower their prices. Then there are those properties which interest only a handful of buyers because the homes are in disrepair, located on a busy street or in an undesirable area, or have a weird floor plan or lot... all items which can be compensated when the asking price is low enough. But all the desirable properties priced competitively will vanish soon after they are advertised for sale unless sufficient numbers of homeowners decide to make a move and list their homes for sale.

In many cases, potential home sellers who are wanting to move up or move down here in the Boston area are too fearful to sell until they find a place to buy. This creates a Catch-22 situation which occurs time and again but in cycles. The first cycle, which is what we are experiencing now, is when sellers are eager to sell but afraid they won't be able to find an affordable replacement home because there's a shortage of housing. The second cycle entails sellers unable to buy because there's an oversupply of housing and they are having a difficult time in finding a buyer for their homes.

Below tells the tale of the sales activity in 60+ towns and neighborhoods in and around Boston. Look up the name of the town/area in the alphabetized list on the left. Based upon the number of homes Active on 4/2/21 and the number of homes Sold in March, we can determine how many months (Inventory Supply) it would take before all the Active inventory is sold off... provided no other homes are placed on the market until then. Since homes are continually coming on and off the market, it is wiser to look at how the market absorbs its inventory over time (Historical AR). As an example, Allston had 5 homes sales in March. Although 16 homes on the market divided by 5 equals 3.2, historical sales more closely approach the 8 sales per month seen in Avg YTD. Further explanations follow the spreadsheet.

Town or Avg Sold in Active on Inventory Historical
Neighborhood YTD March 4/2/21 Supply AR
Allston 8 5 16 3.2 2.2
Arlington 43 19 20 1.1 0.4
Ashland 20 15 3 0.2 0.1
Back Bay 33 16 106 6.6 4.2
Bay Village 1 2 5 2.5 2.9
Beacon Hill 26 12 57 4.8 3.5
Belmont 29 16 11 0.7 0.5
Braintree 36 29 23 0.8 0.6
Brighton 68 43 44 1.0 1.5
Brookline 68 43 96 2.2 1.8
Cambridge 75 57 102 1.8 1.5
Canton 36 36 38 1.1 1.2
Charlestown 42 30 34 1.1 1.0
Chelsea 30 20 23 1.2 0.7
Chestnut Hill 24 15 38 2.5 2.0
Chinatown 9 5 54 10.8 7.4
Concord 18 16 18 1.1 1.7
Dedham 31 14 21 1.5 0.6
Dorchester 107 67 97 1.4 1.2
Dover 7 4 14 3.5 1.7
Downtown 6 3 49 16.3 9.8
East Boston 56 43 110 2.6 2.6
Everett 39 32 22 0.7 0.7
Fenway 19 6 48 8.0 4.4
Foxborough 20 16 13 0.8 0.7
Framingham 55 36 39 1.1 0.6
Hyde Park 20 16 14 0.9 0.7
Jamaica Plain 74 49 52 1.1 1.0
Lexington 35 22 38 1.7 1.1
Lincoln 6 1 9 9.0 1.4
Malden 41 29 28 1.0 0.7
Mattapan 8 9 11 1.2 1.3
Medfield 17 10 11 1.1 0.2
Medford 60 57 38 0.7 0.2
Melrose 24 19 21 1.1 0.2
Milton 26 16 24 1.5 0.9
Mission Hill 9 5 6 1.2 1.2
Natick 51 45 23 0.5 0.5
Needham 30 18 31 1.7 1.0
Newton 106 82 123 1.5 1.4
North End 18 6 24 4.0 2.2
Norwood 29 26 17 0.7 0.6
Quincy 92 86 103 1.2 1.2
Revere 41 39 40 1.0 0.3
Roslindale 47 29 19 0.7 0.6
Roxbury 24 9 27 3.0 1.7
Seaport 13 7 42 6.0 3.9
Sharon 23 12 27 2.3 0.3
Sherborn 7 5 7 1.4 0.2
Somerville 77 54 80 1.5 0.3
South Boston 131 86 119 1.4 2.5
South End 66 35 150 4.3 3.3
Sudbury 24 16 19 1.2 0.2
Walpole 29 22 20 0.9 0.2
Waltham 52 38 40 1.1 0.8
Waterfront 13 12 29 2.4 4.3
Watertown 27 22 33 1.5 1.0
Wayland 20 12 8 0.7 0.4
Wellesley 35 22 22 1.0 0.7
West End 3 3 12 4.0 3.7
West Roxbury 30 24 26 1.1 0.9
Weston 19 9 30 3.3 1.9
Westwood 24 13 25 1.9 1.3
Weymouth 61 55 54 1.0 0.2
Winthrop 18 11 11 1.0 0.2

BUYERS

Your best opportunities to get a deal on your purchase or at least to avoid bidding wars is to look at areas where the AR is greater than 4.5 (ideally, greater than 6). The lower the AR amount, the more competition you will have with other buyers and the less interested sellers will be to negotiate.

SELLERS

Unlike buyers, you will find most areas of the greater Boston area favor sellers. Look, for example, at Natick or Ashland where the number of sales in March were way higher than the current number of homes on the market. Therefore, a properly-priced home should sell super fast in any of the areas where the AR is 1 or less.

Whether you are buying or selling or both, contact me if you want the best strategy for dealing with the market we are in now.