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Anemic Housing Market Has Buyers Thirsty

Realtor takes a break from the early Spring-market madness to offer a snapshot of what's going on in Jamaica Plain and how that may correlate to neighboring markets.

What happens when you cross low interest rates, rising rents, 6-7 years of market flat-lining, and an anemic housing market inventory?  The answer is that properties are going under agreement almost as fast as they're coming on the market.  

Of the 124 condo properties on the market in Jamaica Plain, 31 are listed as "under agreement" and 14 have been flagged as having "accepted offers."   That's 36%.  Over the past month, the rate of absorption is showing 30%, which by any standard, qualifies as a 'robust' market.  

Just last week, two units on my street, Glade Avenue, came to market and were under agreement within days with one having multiple offers.   Priced and marketed well, properties have buyers locking horns to get it.    

Seeing these multiple offer scenarios is a little unnerving.  It's wonderful to see consumer confidence returning to local real estate but it's as if we've shifted overnight from a buyers' to a sellers' market.   Part of this correlates to the lack of inventory.  Buyers are hungry for inventory.  Last year at this time there were nearly TWICE as many condos available for purchase as there are now.  And I would venture that for various reasons there are more ready and capable buyers now than last year.    

Neighborhoods like Roslindale and Hyde Park have been a little slower to wake up, but as they've always historically shadowed their more desirable neighbors.  Not to pat myself on the back, but I did make this prediction back in November and again one month ago today.   I would expect this high level of activity

While it may not be the case for the rest of the country or even the rest of the state, the Boston housing market seems to be showing signs of awakening.  

There is still a shortage of good, quality inventory at fair and reasonable prices.  If you're in the market to buy, don't sleep on something you like if you feel there's value there because it almost certainly won't be there next week.  

It seems that on a daily basis I'm hearing about new properties ready to come to market over the next few weeks, so we're definitely experiencing the first surge of the spring market tide.  Make sure you have a buyer agent who can offer you timely advice on whether you may be bidding too much or not enough; believe me, folks do still pay too much sometimes and sellers sometimes undervalue their property.  

Back to the trenches.

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Brian McCaffrey May 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM
The real estate market has been manipulated for decades and is being manipulated again. There is nothing destructive about people making money in real estate transactions, especially if the transaction is at a price that is fair to all parties involved. It is destructive, however, that home prices are manipulated by the Federal Reserve through the availability of low cost fiat money. This money is made readily available to borrowers who pay more than they can afford to fulfill some delusional fantasy of "home ownership". The real estate crash is far from being over. This is an unsustainable economic model.
Brian S. May 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I spent several months looking for a condo in JP during the spring last year and I ended up in multiple offer situations more often than not. I was outbid every time until I finally just paid asking for a place a day after it went on market, with the contingency that it wouldn't be shown to anyone else and never go to open house, because I knew this would be another multiple offer-more than asking situation. And despite all that, someone made a second full price offer without even seeing the condo! Lucky for me, the owners felt a sense of loyalty and sold to me anyway. And this was last year. I can only imagine what this year is like.

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