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Oct. 9, 2019

Is 2019 A good time to buy a house?

Is 2019 A good time to buy a house?

If you're wondering if 2019 is a good time to buy a house, this is the post for you!  Let's take a look at the the risks and possibilities going forward. 

 

Home Prices

With home prices in many areas at all time highs, you may be thinking that it is not a great time to buy a house now because prices are high.  Maybe it makes sense to hold out and wait for a pullback in prices.  People often make the same reasoning in the stock market, and most financial folks will say something like: Yes, the market may go down, but when will it go down?  And how much? They often warn that timing the market is near impossible. Because those variables are hard to predict, it usually makes sense to invest when you can, and let time sort it out.  The same applies in housing.  I have talked with many people who are worried that the next housing down turn will reduce prices by 20% - as they did the last time - but that is very unlikely.   We had both a credit crisis (the banks were under capitalized, and loans weren't scrutinized as credit was too loose) and a deep recession (just missing a depression), which created a once - in- three generations type of economic storm on housing.  Today, the banks are probably overcapitalized, and credit remains tight, so a similar scenario is just about impossible.  My advice: don't try to time the market, but do what makes sense for you life today. 

Home Mortgage Rates

With home mortgage rates still at attractive levels, with many programs under 4.0%, these are good levels for prospective home buyers.  Interest rates may go down in the future, but they don't really have far to go, but they can go up a lot higher.  Even if you buy today and rates go lower, you may have a chance to re-finance.  But in any case, you'll be paying very little interest on all that money you're borrowing.  This works also for investors, as the low-rates help make properties generate more cash flow.  Bottom line, rates remain attractive, and home buyers should take advantage.

Rental Rates

Many people reading this are paying rent.  Home prices are not the only things at all time highs, rental rates are also.  If you are paying rent, it is probably the number one reason to go buy a home, so you can stop!  There are good reasons for renting - maybe you're thinking of relocating, or you're not sure your job will be there in 5 years.  But if you aren't planning on moving and have decent job security, you should start working on your financial security, and that starts with home ownership.  In many locations, it is cheaper still to own a home then to rent, and that is before we talk about the savings that you get with mortgage payments (see below for more!). 

Home Mortgage Programs

Although credit remains tight, there are still many programs that will help reduce your down payment for your first home.  Although I recommend putting at least 10% down, as it will qualify you for lower rates (which is good) and not over-leverage yourself to the house, if the choice is between rent and an FHA loan, I choose FHA (which is as low as 3.5%).  Remember, any home mortgage payment (that aren't interest only) contains a significant payment to yourself!!  Most people that buy a home for the first time forget that the principle that you pay on a home mortgage is money you get back, unlike the interest payment, which goes to the bank, never to return.  About 1/3 of your payment is actually to you, and over time those savings really grow, which makes home-ownership one of the more successful forms of savings in the USA.  Even though higher leverage loans are more expensive than other loans, they can be easier to pay down, and then you can refinance into a more attractive loan. 

Get Good Home Buying Advice

Although it is a good time to buy a home, that doesn't mean *every* home is a good deal.  I mean, that is never the case, no matter what market we are in!  Some homes have lots of deferred maintenance which can mean extra expenses early, and some homes are in tricky locations that won't be safe places to park your money.  I see a significant number of homes sell above where they should, and those home owners are taking on more risk than they might otherwise need to if they take a more educated approach.  Buying a home is the most expensive purchase a home owner will often ever make, and it makes sense to get a home expert in your corner so you know what you are buying, and how it should perform in the coming years.

 

Aug. 12, 2019

Millis, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

Millis, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

July

The Millis Homes For Sale Market Report

Millis is another town where we have price inversion.  The asking prices are below the paid prices. In Millis though, this data means less - with only 16 homes for sale, asking prices could fall below the trend line. 

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Note, however, prices are up - notably - even though inventories are off their lows, and the HSI has dropped by half.  Transactions are also lower and heading down.  I'm not sure, if these trends don't reverse, that the rise in prices can continue. 

What should potential home buyers do in Millis?

It's a small town, you should put others on your list if you can.  The best properties will move quick.

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Millis?

Price competitively and you should be able to achieve a quick sale-

Millis Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Millis “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 155 Last Report: 206
  • There are 16 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Millis there have been 46 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 32 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 67 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Millis.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 92 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $246 (vs. $233 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $230/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $526,311.
  • Millis, MA, has 1 property advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Millis, MA
Aug. 11, 2019

Milford, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

Milford, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

July

The Milford Homes For Sale Market Report

In Milford, we have another price trend cross - where prices paid went above prices asked.  This usually happens when buyers start to get picky about condition, and are happy to pay ask for good condition properties, but won't purchase overpriced homes that need work, even through they are a "little bit" less expensive than other properties.  That usually means sale prices will head down - and they are - as the inventory that's out there cuts prices.

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Same same, in Milford.  Small rise in inventories, drop in transactions, and big drop in HSI.  The best of the seller market is behind us. 

What should potential home buyers do in Milford?

Home buyers will find a slightly more accommodating market.  Things are still moving quickly, and prices are moving up. But it won't be like last year, where buyers were litterally getting priced out. 

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Milford?

Prices have climbed almost 40% from when we started tracking, so prices are very healthy in Milford.  Investors are getting near top dollar, and home sellers are too.  If you're thinking about selling, it is a good time to take advantage of the rise in prices. 

Milford Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Milford “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 238 Last Report: 330
  • There are 28 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Milford there have been 143 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 103 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 49 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Milford.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 40 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $190 (vs. $192 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $195/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $349,071.
  • Milford, MA, has 0 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Milford, MA
Aug. 10, 2019

Medfield, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

Medfield, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

July

The Medfield Homes For Sale Market Report

Some times in markets, it takes time for everyone to come together.  Medfield is a good example, where home sellers got really optimistic in 2016, but if they wanted to sell, they needed to come down.  The buyers came up -  slowly - but most of the asking prices and movement was done by the sellers, as they moved down to meet the buyers. 

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Normally, when you see prices converge, you'll get a bump in transaction activity.  But we don't get that here.  Why?  Well, seller behavior hasn't been affected by home buyer behavior.  It's been affected by other home sellers.  The rise of competition has made it easier for sellers to price realistically. They have been stubborn, as Medfield home sellers are willing to sit 55 days on average for a sale - which is really high for this cycle - but they have come down all the same.

What should potential home buyers do in Medfield?

Medfield at $300/ sq foot isn't inexpensive, but these prices actually are good value in this market relative to different points in the cycle.  Buyers haven't really pushed prices up in an irrational manner, so these prices reflect fair value in Medfield. With more choices, buyers can lean harder on sellers, and mostly they should feel good about where things are at here. 

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Medfield?

Home sellers should be aware - competition - especially in the higher segments - is here and you won't be guaranteed a quick sale.  While lower priced homes will find traffic and quick sales, the luxury segment will find a more sluggish market that is price sensitive. 

Medfield Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Medfield “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 135 Last Report: 228
  • There are 48 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Medfield there have been 87 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 65 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 55 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Medfield.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 90 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $293 (vs. $279 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $295/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $719,542.
  • Medfield, MA, has 2 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Medfield, MA
Aug. 9, 2019

Marlborough, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

Marlborough, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

July

The Marlborough Homes For Sale Market Report

Marlborough home sellers are asking for more, but the buyers are pushing harder on prices.  Who will win this latest expectation gap? 

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Even though inventories remain tight, transaction volume is down.  Some of that is lack of inventory, but it is worth noticing that the Days on Market, for average, is up to 48 days.  Still great for sellers, bad for buyers, but it is up, showing that buyers aren't interesting in competitive bidding, and are staying away from properties they think are overpriced. 

What should potential home buyers do in Marlborough?

Home buyers should recognize that they can push harder on sellers who are sitting around, and push harder at inspection.  They should also be more price sensitive to condition.  That won't stop the best homes from selling quickly, but more are sitting around than before. 

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Marlborough?

Sold prices are off their peak - but not by much.  It is still a strong sellers market, and home buyers are paying near record prices.  If you're looking to take advantage of the prices for home sales, now is the time.  

Marlborough Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Marlborough “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 227 Last Report: 270
  • There are 34 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Marlborough there have been 165 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 116 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 48 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Marlborough.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 69 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $212 (vs. $216 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $226/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $411,605.
  • Marlborough, MA, has 5 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There is 1 property advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Marlborough, MA
Aug. 8, 2019

Hudson, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

 

July

The Hudson Homes For Sale Market Report

Hudson, similarly, is seeing some buyer pullback.  It's not sharp though, and home sellers remain optimistic, pushing prices up.  

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Home sellers optimism is rooted in the lack of inventory.  And with an HSI above 250, it means the buyers in Hudson will probably have to start paying more - not less - to get deals done.  There's not enough softness in other towns to make up for the lack of inventory in Hudson.

What should potential home buyers do in Hudson?

Home buyers should recognize there's still plenty of competition, and the good homes will go super quick.  As quick as they did last year?  In some cases, most cases, yes.  Properties that need more work or in tougher locations however are finding a pickier buyer may mean they have to adjust in price. 

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Hudson?

Home sellers should see on the graph home sale prices are still near their highs.  It's a very good market for home sellers.  We're seeing some signs of softness in many other towns, but Hudson is still very good for home sellers.

Hudson Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Hudson “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 261 Last Report: 268
  • There are 21 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Hudson there have been 123 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 76 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 45 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Hudson.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 34 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $222 (vs. $228 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $243/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $407,945.
  • Hudson, MA, has 2 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Hudson, MA
Aug. 7, 2019

Hopkinton, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

 

July

The Hopkinton Homes For Sale Market Report

Hopkinton has had a great run.  Great! But sellers are never satisfied.  Look how crazy home sellers got, asking $280 a square foot, while the buyers were paying less than $240.  Also no big surprise, it didn't work.  Buyers actually started paying less, and sellers  - rather impatiently - quickly cut prices.  By quickly, I mean "over a few months". 

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

So what happened?  Well transactions went from a peak in late 2017 above 200 to 120.  That is a huge drop in sales.  New listings didn't exactly flood the market, they were down too, but the buyers disappeared, as they found value in other markets, or simply disappeared altogether.

What should potential home buyers do in Hopkinton?

Home buyers will find a little more inventory - but the big change is things are less competitive.  This is not a new trend!  With the high prices, fewer buyers are stepping up, even for young homes in good locations.

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Hopkinton?

Don't assume you'll sell just because you've got a young neighborhood home.  These numbers show a market rapidly returning to balance.  There aren't enough buyers to go around, and they are shopping multiple towns. 

Hopkinton Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Hopkinton “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 146 Last Report: 204
  • There are 147 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Hopkinton there have been 124 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 90 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 73 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Hopkinton.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 96 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $242 (vs. $232 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $249/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $725,338.
  • Hopkinton, MA, has 0 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Hopkinton MA
Aug. 6, 2019

Holliston, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

 

July

 

The Holliston Homes For Sale Market Report

The prices are struggling to reach back to their 2017 peak. Sellers, once far ahead of the buyers have pulled back asking prices for the simple reason they need to.  Multiple bids are only showing up on underpriced or super competitive properties, and most homes are happy to take one bid. 

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

We  can see some details here.  Transactions down, inventory up, has moved the HSI from 230 to down to 130.  Inventories are hitting multi year highs, and the fall will show where those trends are going.  It will be interesting to see if we hit the spring with a big rise in inventories, or whether sellers stay away this fall. 

What should potential home buyers do in Holliston?

It's still Holliston.  Its not like there's 10 houses to see for you.  But competition and pickier buyers means you're not competing the way you use to.  Find what you like, and go after it, but you won't likely need to do crazy stuff to win your bid.

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Holliston?

Home sellers should be prepared that if they reach for a price, they could sit around.  This is yet another town where the average time to offer has doubled.  Accurate pricing is more important than ever.

Holliston Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Holliston “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 130 Last Report: 227
  • There are 53 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Holliston there have been 101 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 66 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 61 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Holliston.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 92 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $228 (vs. $229 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $230/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $520,569.
  • Holliston, MA, has 1 property advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Holliston, MA
Aug. 5, 2019

Grafton, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

 

July

The Grafton Homes For Sale Market Report

Grafton, one of the slow and stead towns, isn't pulling back much, but it is transitioning to a neutral market.  Price pressures look to be abating.  

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

Once again, we see a mix of slightly higher inventory and lower transaction volume taking the pressure out of the cooker.  But it's not major.  Transactions are on the lower side of the peak, but aren't low. Inventories are up, but are still below 60, a multi-year low. 

What should potential home buyers do in Grafton?

Home buyers will find a competitive market for the best homes.  Ones that need work or are overpriced are sitting around though.  

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Grafton?

Home sellers should recognize that the average time on market has almost doubled.  True, it wasn't much to begin with, but it's longer.  Buyers are getting pickier about price and features, and there's no longer a guarantee of a quick sale. 

Grafton Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Grafton “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 167 Last Report: 175
  • There are 44 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Grafton there have been 139 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 96 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 60 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Grafton.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 93 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $203 (vs. $204 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $211/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $439,332.
  • Grafton, MA, has 0 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There is 1 property advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Grafton, MA
Aug. 3, 2019

Framingham, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

Framingham, MA Home Sales and Real Estate Market Report (2019)

July

The Framingham Homes For Sale Market Report

We haven't seen too many down arrows in Framingham, but one of the sharper ones is happening now.  

Buyers and sellers are pulling down asking and paid prices.  Framingham is a big market, and should be watched closely.

Can’t see the chart? You can find it Here .

When we look at the detail, things still seem OK.  A little up tick in inventory is nothing to worry about.  Transactions are down, which created the softening.  Still, transaction levels are very healthy, so there's no panic in Framingham data.

What should potential home buyers do in Framingham?

Home buyers should know that it's still tough out there, but prices are stable, which makes home shopping easier.  There are fewer "Crazy" bid situations, and the market should be rational.  I think prices are too high in Framingham, but they aren't adjusting yet.

Find Your Next Home or Check out the Competition!

What should future home sellers do in Framingham?

Home sellers should recognize that it may not be enough just to put a sign in the yard!  This report shows buyers are not racing to push prices up, and if you reach for a price, you may not get it. 

Framingham Homes For Sale and Sold Market Statistics - MLS Data

  • The Framingham “Home Seller Index” (HSI): 234 Last Report: 394
  • There are 79 homes currently listed as For Sale by Home Sellers.
  • In Framingham there have been 362 houses sold in the last 6 months, and 249 homes sold in the last 3 months.
  • The Average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 37 days for the last 6 months of SOLD homes In Framingham.
  • Homes for sale have been looking for buyers for an average of 78 days (the homes currently for sale).
  • The amount that was paid by Home buyers in Dollars per Sq. Ft. averaged $254 (vs. $257 in the last report)
  • Current home sellers are looking for $267/sq foot
  • There was an Average Sold Price of $472,946.
  • Framingham, MA, has 0 properties advertised as lender owned or foreclosure (typically foreclosure) .
  • There are 0 properties advertised as a short-sale is going to be needed by the lender.

All raw data are for Single Family Houses and based on data in MLS. Matt’s HSI is proprietary*, and is designed to offer town-by-town information, instead of large scale trends. *That means you won’t find it anywhere else. Take that, Case-Schilling!.

Top Reads at Heisler & Mattson Properties

Posted in Framingham, MA