Time for an update of my...
Best Towns to Buy or Sell a House in Metrowest.
Every few months, I take all the data from the market reports and combine it in a snapshot.
In Brief, this report shows where the most demand vs. supply is. In the towns at the top, homes are selling faster, often outpacing inventory, and buyers are finding themselves in competitive situations more often. At the bottom, sellers are struggling to find buyers, and towns often have very high market times. For More information on Best Town Methodology, check here:
Notes on the Rankings.
Key Notes in this Best Towns to Sell Ranking
A) Natick broke a record on the blog for best town to sell your house with a Hot Seller Index of 121.
B) Shrewsbury and Northborough, with their good MCAS scores and pike access are very popular towns, and their markets are among the coolest in Metrowest. They are great places to look for homes at the moment. Further west, Sutton's softness is also surprising, and unlikely to last, as the last couple of reports show - it's usually near the top, and probably will be there before long.
C) Westborough made a pretty huge jump - that market is as hot as we've seen it in a while.
Yes, you read that right, in the recent spate of reports Natick had the HOTTEST MARKET EVER recorded here on the blog. It's also worth noting that there were seven towns above the 90 mark, which was also a record, for the most markets that are hot at one time. I'm sure some of you will read this and say, "But I thought housing was in a slump, how can there be hot markets?" It's really important to remember that any "numbers" that you get at a large level - statewide, or national numbers - gloss over the reality of what's actually happening on the ground floor. Now I track 24 towns on the blog, and only seven are truly great markets for sellers. Many are neutral markets and 5 or 7 are really poor markets for home sellers, (and therefore good markets for home buyers). Overall, Metrowest has an average of 82, which reflects that. The entire purposes of these posts is to show what is really happening in each little market, as the ebbs and flows of the economy, buyers preferences, and seller's willingness to price appropriately, are all jumbled together. It's quite fluid, even over fairly short time spans.
Frankly, with interest rates where they are, the fact that there are cold markets is a bit of a head scratcher. The Boston Globe Real Estate Blog recently posted that frustrated sellers were giving up. That's an interesting take - but it's not what we're not really seeing here in Metrowest. What we are seeing is that sellers that have flaws in there property - bad lots, bad floor plans, poor condition - aren't finding enough buyers or are willing to move their prices low enough to find those buyers. Personally, I think when the economy or the real estate market is bad, buyers become very "risk averse", and don't want to purchase any property for themselves that appears risky or hard to move. This is a natural tendency, of course, but when inventory gets tight, it can leave many buyers on the sidelines. I do bump into people all the time who have been looking for 10, 18 even 24 months for a house. That's TWO YEARS! (and WAY TOO LONG).
Long Term Trends about the Best Towns to Sell or Buy in Metrowest
After doing these reports across the whole year, we can definitely see that it helps to be further East. This is only natural, as there are more people to the East, as we approach Boston, and as those prices and rents rise (as they have) we see the "spillover" effect into Metrowest. Someday, when the market heats up, we'll see the seller markets improve further west, as the spillover goes west.
I'd also like to point out that even though the "Hot Seller Index" changes, it doesn't mean that the town got "worse" or better. Already we've seen big changes in the Index for certain towns, and the towns haven't changed in any meaningful way, sometimes, towns just get hot (or cold). Many times the stats for a town "cool off" when a bunch of sellers list their property for sale - a good thing for buyers when there are many new choices - it's not always a lack of purchasing.
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*All information is posted in good faith and is assumed to be reliable, but may rely on third party information sources.