Newton Spring 2017 Real Estate Market
WE ALL LOVE NEWTON SO MUCH, NOBODY WANTS TO MOVE
Anyone Planning to sell their Single-Family Home, is in the Driver’s Seat
By Marie Presti, The Presti Group
For the past several years, anyone wishing to move to Newton, one of the safest cities in Massachusetts, has been in for some slim pickings in the city’s hot real estate market. So far, this year is no exception. Single-family homeowners, in this glorious location, remain in the driver’s seat. And they are steering a luxury car with sophisticated, unlimited options.
So if a developer comes knocking at your door, or if you receive a “there are people interested in buying a home in your neighborhood” letter, look before you leap. Although you might be thinking about selling, take your time. Make sure you are getting the right offer, with the best terms. Many times, putting your home on the open market can provide better results than going for the first offer presented off market.
For buyers, though, the picture isn’t so pretty. A dismally low supply of single-family homes will continue throughout 2017, making it difficult for consumers to find a good deal. Buyers will need to hone their search criteria and act quickly the second they find a place they want. And be ready for combat. The bidding wars have already begun, despite winter being a traditionally slow season.
Findings from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) indicate the average number of days on the market for single-family homes in Newton has decreased 16 percent (from 57 days in 2015 to 48 days in 2016). Sales dropped 8.3 percent, from 2015 to 2016. There was also a significant decline in the number of these homes available in 2015 and 2016: 661, vs. 551, respectively. At the end of last month, there were only 66 single-family houses on the market in Newton. This represents a 27 percent decrease, compared to the same period last year.
The GBAR report also indicates that despite rising condo and single-family homes sales on the rise outside of Newton, single-family home sales here have actually decreased by 1.4 percent in 2016.The reason for this slip, is that there are less homes being sold at the high end these days, in addition to a low inventory to choose from. Condos are gaining ground, due to the new construction town homes, with closed sales increasing by 3.2 percent. (The median price of condos rose nearly 13 percent from 2015 to 2016.) For people being priced out of the single- family home market, or who can’t manage the maintenance of their existing property here, condos are becoming a viable option for people who love Newton.
The median sales price for condos in Newton increased 12.6 percent to $698,000. This is due to a growing number of developers who are building luxury townhouses that are becoming an alternative to more expensive, new construction single-families. The number of days on the market for condos here stayed even in 2015 and 2016 at 44 days. This leveling off is due to new construction timelines. After all, people have to wait for the condos to be built before they can move in.
Despite being in the dead of a cold, snowy winter, home sales show no sign of slowing down. Anyone selling (or attempting to buy a single-family home) in Newton should gear up now. In the words of the late, great David Bowie, “…Take your protein pills and put your helmet on…”
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Marie Presti is president-elect of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors. A certified Realtor for 20 years and a Newton property owner, she also runs The Presti Group, an independent real estate agency in Newtonville.