Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An article in this week's edition of Bankers and Tradesman pointed out how the current real estate market has made it a great opportunity for prospective home buyers to get a good deal on a home. Most home sellers now realize that their price has to be reasonable if they want their property to sell anytime soon. The thing to remember is that this is a normal real estate cycle. There are ups and downs in every cycle, but prices always eventually go up again. How long will this take? Your guess is as good as mine, but according to yesterday's Boston Globe article the prices have bottomed out and now is a good time to buy with mortgage interest rates still low (take it from someone who paid 13% back in the late 80's) and sellers willing to bargain.

But don't wait for an open house to see that home that you like. Many agents are not doing open houses because they have been getting very little response to them. Call your Buyer's Agent to make an appointment for you. This is even more important if there has been a recent price drop on the property, because that usually creates a plethora of activity, even in a slow market.

Here are some stats for the current real estate market on the north shore of Massachusetts.

Compared to this same day 1 year ago:

  • There are 7364 properties on the market. Last year there were 6414.

  • Time on market this year is 146 days, compared with 105 days last year.

  • The median price is list $379,900 compared to $395,000 for 2005.

These stats are for a combined single, multi and condos.

Average sale price over the last 3 months was $408,537, compared with the same 3 month period last last of $403,369. Confusing, isn't it? First I tell you that the current on market prices are lower than last year, then I tell you that the last 3 months sale prices are higher that 2005! What' sgoing on?

Well , the key phase is that the sale prices were for the last 3 months, which included a pretty good sales period. It's only the last couple of months where we have seen wholesale dropping of prices, which is why the current list prices are lower than 2005's.

Of course, every town varies slightly. Salem for example is still doing very well, mainly because of the proximity to the commuter train and the vibrant downtown (where everyone wants to live!)

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