Category Archives: Market Review Arlington MA

Arlington MA Real Estate + Spring Market = Insanity!

Surely you have heard about Arlington’s limited inventory, good (but rising) interest rates, and how sellers are enjoying MP900305899multiple offers over asking price, with buyers waiving contingencies. This has been a crazy spring so far.
The effect is a rise in median sale price, and everyone’s value has gone up, whether they’ve done any improvements on their house or not.

What have houses been selling for?

In the first four months of 2014 there have been 60 sales of single family homes. The average list price was $653K and the average sale price was $665K. Average days on market was 30.
During the same time period in 2013 there were 53 sales, and the average list price was $567K and average sale price $574K. Average days on market was 51. That’s a 15% increase in one year.
One interesting example is 62 Oak Hill, a fully renovated cape w 1740 sqft, listed at $635K, sold for $700K ($65K over!)

Escalation Clauses

This is a new twist buyers are using to beat their competition. Saying “buyer will pay $X over the highest offer” has allowed some buyers to get offers accepted that otherwise wouldn’t. It has also caused extreme confusion when there were several offers using this. The jury is out on this tactic, as it can work well, or backfire.

What is a home worth?

Real estate is a commodity, the value of which fluctuates depending on supply and demand. Other factors like interest rates and public sentiment affect it as well. But ultimately a home is worth what a seller is willing too take, and a buyer is willing to pay. In a market with low inventory (in the case of Arlington the absorption rate is One Month for single family homes) competitive buyers drive the price up, and find new ways to be competitive, including waiving inspections and mortgage contingencies. I do have a concern for buyers getting excited about a home and taking on undue risk in order to get their offer accepted. Sellers are looking for the highest price and the least risk. It’s a shame that buyers are shouldering most or all of the risk in this market.

Seminars for First Time Home Buyers

Buyers who do a lot of reading on the internet and shopping for listings through Zillow and Trulia owe it to themselves to come in and get the hyper-local scoop on how to effectively buy a home in this competitive market, understand the process, the risks, the contracts, the professionals needed, and know what elements are essential to protecting yourself while getting your offer accepted. In this type of environment, more than ever, knowledge is power. Come in and get some soon! Seminars taught monthly, see the schedule here.

 

Arlington Ranked #2 in Nation for BEST Housing Market!

The median home value in Arlington, MA has increased by 14.8% since February 2009!

No. 2: Arlington, MA
Percent change: +14.8
Population: 42,422

Every day we hear doom and gloom in the news about real estate values around the country. Recently national data ranks Arlington, MA #2 in the nation!

Known for its good schools, green parks, low crime rate, and affordable housing, Arlington MA home sales have increased for the last four years, according to Boston.com. The median home value in the city was $475,800 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $468,200 as of July 31.
Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek…

This is verification for what we in the industry have seen in the past several years; that other areas in the country and the state may have depressed markets, but this area has been a smart place for buyers to invest their real estate dollars. With education, medicine and technology in the Boston area, confident buyers are flocking to the suburbs, seeking the lifestyle and housing that our vibrant town offers. Read the Bloomberg article, and if you would like to discuss any of your real estate questions, email us today. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Many renovated homes with lots of character in town

Great inventory of homes for first time buyers

Multi Family Home near Arlington Center

Multi Family Home near Arlington Center

2009 Arlington MA Home Sales Will Surprise You!

The SMART people were out buying homes in Arlington in 2009! All year the media was doom and gloom, so it was almost embarrassing to be telling people “we are having a GREAT YEAR in Arlington real estate.” By the end of ’09 the total number of sales in Arlington was 496, compared to 482 in 2008.  And the average sale price of a single family home had stayed essentially THE SAME.

First Time Home Buyers did especially well with the Stimulus Tax Credit of $8,000.  They were able to lock in interest rates at historic lows (below 5%), and sellers were motivated to sell, partly due to all the uncertainty, and fear prices would be dropping further.  The numbers show clearly that the market has stabilized for now in Arlington.

Want to know the cheapest and most expensive homes of 2009?

2009 Single Family homes (246 sales), the least expensive home: $252,000 (69 Sunnyside) with 74 days on market. The MOST expensive single family home sold in Arlington sold for $1,009,597. (2-A Colonial Drive). New Construction. Average Sale Price for Single Family Homes was $510,000.

2009 Condos (246 sales), the least expensive one sold for $102,000 (11 Old Colony Lane U3). The most expensive condo was 57 Winter Street, and sold for $678,000, also new construction. Average Sale Price for Condos was $350,000.

2009 Multi Families (37 sales), the least expensive one was 106 Paul Revere Road, a two unit (one bedroom each) house, selling for $295K. The most expensive multi family to sell in Arlington was 11-13 Pierce Street, selling for $700,000. Average Sale Price for Multi Family Homes was $519,000.

Sales accelerated in the last two months of the year, which was amazing! In 2008 November and December combined had 46 sales – typical for that time of year. This year there were 94 sales in the same time period. Spectacular numbers, for anyone counting!

See Recent Home Sales in Arlington MA here.

So what’s up with Arlington Real Estate in 2010?? With mortgage rates that are still historically low, homes priced affordably, and the home buyer tax credit, we should see another great year of activity and great deals for home buyers. According to projections from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), sales of existing homes are expected to increase by more than 10% next year. In addition, median home prices will move a little higher. Forecasts from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and from Fannie Mae are generally consistent with the outlook from the MBA.

If YOU have been considering “getting out of renting” then hopefully those pioneers of 2009 who have blazed the trail have shown it is a great time to buy real estate. Learn more about it at a First Time Home Buyer Seminar, or contact me directly to discuss your goals and questions. In the mean time, start dreaming up the details of your Dream Home!

August Home Sales Up (and Down!) in Arlington

What Was Different about This August in Arington?

Arlington is usually a slower month for real estate (usually less sales due to less inventory for buyers to choose from). This was true yet again in August ’09. And yet defying the doom-n-gloom of the media, and the temptation of good Beach Days, Arlington real estate broke some of last year’s records. Here are some numbers:

  • Total CLOSED SALES were 59 in August ’09 (compared to 55 in August ’08)
  • Condo sales were UP: 26 this year (23 last year)
  • Condo prices were DOWN: average of $332K  ($354K Aug 08)
  • Single family home sales were UP: 32 sales  (29 sales in Aug 08)
  • Single family home prices were UP: avg of $522K ($502K in Aug 08)

We seem to be back on a roll, and with so many First Time Home Buyers out hoping to cash in on that $8,000 Tax Credit, we continue to see high numbers of buyers attending Open Houses, even on beautiful days in August.

This was a great August in terms of a healthy turnaround of the market, and the ‘bottom’ has hopefully happened and we are moving out of it. Ted Kennedy has moved on to greener pastures, kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter, and time is ticking for First Time Buyers hoping to get the $8,000 Tax Credit. Make sure YOU don’t miss the deadline. Learn all about it at the next First Time Home Buyers Seminar at the Bowes GMAC Real Estate Office Wednesday September 23. 7-8:30pm. Register by email to bija@dreamhomearlington.com.

July Market Review: Strength in Arlington Single Family Homes

The end of July brought a frenzy of closings in Arlington! Those Under Agreement listings raced to close at the end of the month, boosting sales to an encouraging level, especially in the single family category.

Single Family Home Arlington

Comparing this year with last year, the single family closings were up in actual numbers (42 sales in ’09 vs 30 sales in ’08). From those who experienced the swarms of people attending open houses and making appointments to see single family houses, this is not surprising. The average sales price this year was $515,000, actually up from last year, which was $507,000.

The average days on market was only 40 days, the envy of other areas of the state. Last year’s average was 44. Looking further at the number of Days on Market, we saw 12 properties go under agreement in less than 10 days. What does that mean, you ask? It means these properties were snapped up by savvy, prepared buyers, many of whom may have already lost out on properties that had multiple offers.

The most expensive single family home that sold in July was a stately Victorian on 47 Marathon Street, that listed for $845,000 and sold after 13 days for $822,500. Gorgeous, beautifully updated, with a glass sunroom and more, it was the high point for the month in single family sales.

The glory the Single Family category enjoyed in July ’09 wasn’t shared by condo sellers. Only 28 condos closed this July; same period last year saw 41 closings, and an average higher price of $382,000. This year July’s average was $362,000.

Multi Family Home sales were clearly down. In 2008 we saw 9 sales, average sale price being $579,000. This year there were just two sales, averaged at $601,000.

The rest of the summer and fall will surely be driven by First Time Home Buyers, looking to close on a property by the deadline, in order to get their part of the $8,000 tax credit to first time buyers. Hopefully potential sellers will take advantage of the energy in the buying market, since interest rates have stayed favorable, and the buyers are pressed to make the end of October deadline for getting a P&S signed if they want to close in time to get the tax credit.

If you or someone you know would like help with purchasing a home, whether for the first time or not, you can contact me to discuss your goals at bija@dreamhomearlington.com for a free consultation. Additional useful information is available by attending our next Seminar for First Time Home Buyers August 12 in Arlington.

Arlington Real Estate Recap for May: Encouraging!!

With all the bad news the media produces daily, it’s a miracle that good things keep happening in Arlington’s real estate scene. Having been referred to as one of the “Teflon Ten” (communities that dodged the real estate crisis), this town wasted no time responding to the stimulus incentives for real estate purchases! Even though we started off the year slowly,  I predicted an increase in closings, and now we have proof.

Let’s compare May 2009 with May 2008

CONDOS: 21 sold in May of 2009, down only one from last year. Average sale price was $393,500, up 3% from last year.

MULTI FAMILIES: 3 sold in May 2009, only 2 less than last year. Average sale price was $461,633, down 16% from lasty year.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES: 28 sold in May 2009, UP 5 closings from last year. Average sale price was $497,082, down 5% from last year.

TEN of these properties sold in UNDER TEN DAYS. Knock on wood, we are the envy of real estate markets around the country! PLUS, currently there are 96 properties marked UNDER AGREEMENT, with an average 45 days on market – this has been a busy and healthy spring for both buyers and sellers!

Because Arlington is surrounded by more expensive towns like Lexington, Winchester, and Belmont, the “deals” are to be found in Arlington. The least expensive property to sell was a one bedroom condo at 14 Old Colony Lane, which sold for $152,000.

1 Bedroom condo

In the single-family division, the bargain winner was 35 Wall Street, a cute one-bedroom bungalow that sold for $307,000.

photo-1

The property that had the most days on market (240) was 19 Windermere Ave, which sold for $43,000 UNDER asking price, for $766,000. Savvy buyers watch for things with long days on market, it could be an opportunity brewing.

photo-2

Search MLS Listings Directly on my web site, and you may ask for the SOLD REPORT for your area any time.

Learn more about the $8,000 tax credit, the buying process, financing, how to become a VIP Buyer, and more at the upcoming First Time Home Buyer Seminar Sunday June 28, 10:30am-noon. Click here for more information and to register.

A Boom of Closings in April, I Predict

BOOM!

Things are popping in Arlington!

fire-cracker

Arlington MA Under Agreement Statistics

Right now there are over 66 pending sales (UAG, Under Agreement) in Arlington, Massachusetts. That’s a good thing, because we have some catching up to do, if we want to be at all competitive with 2008 for sales in town. So far in 2009 there have been 53 closings total in all categories (single family, condo, multi-families, commercial) compared to 88 in the same time frame last year.

The average time a property is UAG is six weeks, so if even 2/3 of those 66 Under Agreement properties Close in April, that’s 44 closings we can expect in the coming month, compared to 46 closings in April last year, so we will be having a similar year in terms of numbers of sales, but we won’t know until everything closes how the numbers stack up.

What does it all mean for Arlington’s economic recovery?

With typical Sunday Open House listings having 20 – 60 people show up, rain or shine, and multiple offers being presented every Sunday evening, the market seems to be turning around!  You say 66 Under Agreements? That’s fantastic news, and it doesn’t even include all the properties that are ACTIVE flagged (meaning they have an accepted Offer, but are still showing for backup offers). Usually those flags are taken away after the P&S is signed, or the mortgage commitment is received. If you include those too, it adds an additional 13 Under Agreement listings, bringing it to 79, which if 2/3 of those close in April, that will be 52 Closings, or six more closings than we had last year.  In terms of activity… that’s fabulous!

If you are contemplating a real estate purchase in Arlington this year, get expert advice on how you can best achieve your goals within your time frame. It is the full flush of the spring market, and like rivers do in spring, they run fast. Get yourself aligned with a Buyer’s Agent who can represent your interests and help you find and buy the home of your dreams. If you would like the most up-to-date report on SOLD listings in this area, send me an email. Now is a great time to buy real estate, especially in Arlington!

How We Doin So Far, Arlington?

Two Months Into this Promising but Scary New Year…

Arlington MA is blessed in many ways. Because of its proximity to Cambridge and Boston, it’s relatively affordable and wonderful housing options, public transit, schools, green space and quality of life, the real estate activity has been impressive in the face of turbulent times.

MLS keeps perfect score, let’s look at some numbers..

In the first two months of 2008 there were 44 SOLD properties. In the same period 2009 there have been 48. (with 21 properties currently UAG).

Let’s look at Condos first. By this time last year (end of Feb 08) 25 Condos had Sold, at average price $349K.  This year there have only been 12 closed sales, but the average price is higher, at $383K.

Multi Families last year had only 2 closed sales, average price $600K. This year there have been eight, but the average price is lower, at $539K.

Single Family sales in both years were equal, at 17 closed sides, but this year the average price is higher, $584K, as opposed to last year’s $509K. This is due to three sales over $700K, which tip the average, but show where growth is actually occuring in town.

People always ask, “How’s Real Estate?” and it’s hard to answer in a single word, but given the amount of ACTIVITY we see, the answer is truly positive, given all these transactions in the midst of endless negativity produced by the media! Real Estate is MOVING, and that’s encouraging.

Now with tax advantages from the Stimulus Package, and low interest rates, this is a great time to make a truly worthwhile investment – your own home.

The Spring Market is warming up, and a lot of exciting deals are happening and will continue to happen in the coming months. Stay tuned, as this year promises to be interesting for all of us!