Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

Nov. 18, 2022

Market Update: Week of 11/14/22

I'm hoping my busy week offers some insight that helps everyone feel better about the state of the market. I am energized by meetings with new clients looking to list their properties after the new year, as well as buyers anxious to land their new home either now or in 2023. The reasons for moving include relocations, job changes, upsizing, and downsizing, and they all form the impetus that keeps this market moving. So yes - there is a ray of hope as we head into 2023 that real estate as we know it is not lost. 

If we look back before March of 2020, the end of the year has historically been a time to hunker down at home and entertain, not a time to buy one. I predict we will see just that now! I am recommending sellers relax and enjoy the holidays, and we'll list their houses in January. That will be exciting news to anxious buyers who would love the gift of housing inventory! 🎁

You can see the shift in the chart below, less new listings but a healthy number going under agreement.

As mentioned last week, other markets are not playing out the same way we are. The areas that had the most appreciation during the pandemic such as Austin, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona and Tacoma, Washington (to name a few) are feeling a much more dramatic shift downward in prices. Interest rates are affecting the demand, although the rates did move downward into the mid 6% last week.

Reports indicate that Florida is still a strong real estate market with low inventory. That lines up with the northeast since many of our clients are relocating to the south or have second homes there. The recent hurricane on the west coast of Florida actually added to the housing shortage as some of those who were displaced were forced to find new homes and can't. 

On a festive note- If you love shopping like I do then please stop by the Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club Marketplace, where more than 200 artisans will be selling their high end crafts. It's at Wellesley High School Saturday from 10-4pm (November 19, 2022). This is a really good time that my girls and I look forward to each year, and it helps you jumpstart your gift buying. I hope to see you there!!!

Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club 2022 Marketplace!

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Posted in MGS Group, Real Estate
Nov. 12, 2022

Market Update: Week of 11/7/2022

In the last few weeks I have been back and forth to North Carolina and South Carolina. I've talked to agents all over the country, and everyone's story when it comes to real estate is just a little bit different.

When I compare what is happening in Boston with the south or out west, it seems we are in a much more stable real estate climate. This comes as no surprise since financial stability is what we are proudest of here, right? We live in an area with various strong industries and good education, and people from all over the world want to live here. That varied job pool helps keep us moving forward since we aren't depending on just one field.

When you break down the number of home sales in the last few weeks, it's good news. People are still putting properties under agreement and we are NOT seeing a substantial decline in prices. You really need to hone in on your specific region and price range before telling the story - check out the statistics below for a Metro West snapshot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a closer look into Wellesley market movement by price range over the last 2 weeks, which also indicates what is happening in neighboring towns.

The problem we are seeing is that consumers are reading the broader headlines that promote doom and gloom in the real estate market. As a result, buyers are bidding on houses and trying to get a discount while sellers just aren't there yet.  In many cases, those sellers don't have to be accepting because they can or will get their price, even if they wait. It's a fine balancing act and one that's tough to pin down even for seasoned agents who do this every day!! This disconnect between both sides of a deal can be stressful, along with monitoring the rates.

What has become clear is that first time homebuyers are the ones who are hit hardest by the shift in the market. Prices are still relatively high, inventory is still low, and interest rates are higher than they were at the beginning of the year which increases their payments by hundreds and hundreds of dollars. There will be a time that they can refinance and get that mortgage payment down, but it's hard to grasp exactly when that will be, even though experts think it could be as soon as the end of next year.

The stock market reacted favorably to the new inflation numbers that seemed to be settling down, and this triggered interest rates to dip down into the mid 6%'s. Some welcome news!

We are now heading into the holiday season in full force and traditionally that's not a strong home selling season so I expect things to be slower compared to last year's craziness in December with nearly 20 offers on properties. I am going to try and relax and enjoy the lower pace knowing it will all start over again after the new year when our "spring" market really starts in earnest at the end of January! 

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Posted in MGS Group, Real Estate
Nov. 4, 2022

Market Update: Week of 10/31/22

Interest rates went up again this week, and in December if inflation doesn't cool down we could see the same scenario play out once more. This came as somewhat of a surprise to many who hoped this was the last time the federal reserve would raise them.

Fortunately, real estate experts with sound minds are publishing reports with thoughtful and honest information, despite the headlines in so many newspapers that are reporting doom and gloom!

I try to be a voice of reason each week in order for you to get an honest view into the real estate market. I was recently asked by an organization geared towards executive women in Massachusetts, "what is your superpower?" My answer is simple, I help people see the big picture and achieve their goals. In line with my thinking are predictions for the next five years from the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun. Fortunately, his outlook is upbeat and in line with other experts in the field. Here are his key takeaways.

  • Inventory (the number of houses for sale) is still historically low.
  • Interest rates will continue to rise in the next few months and hover around 7%.
  • Adjustable rate mortgages will become popular again, since they are typically lower than the 30 year loan products.
  • Within two years the rates will come back down to 5%-6%.
  • Prices will remain relatively stable with an increase or decrease in most areas of about 5%. 
  • There will not be a real estate crash. You need an abundance of inventory for that to happen, which we do not have - check out the stats in the chart below.

The luxury tier of the real estate market still seems to be moving forward at a nice pace with quick sales. Since this is a bulk of our inventory in Metro West, the properties we have counted as under agreement are quite impressive. It is the range under $1.5M, and certainly under $1M, which seems most affected by the changing economy. 

A few Fall reminders for you!!

 

  • Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour when you go to sleep on Saturday night.
  • Book your gutter cleaning around Thanksgiving to clear them of leaves and debris. 
  • A fall cleaning of the leaves off your grass should also be on your to-do list.
  • I always change the batteries of my smoke detectors each Halloween, so it gets done!
  • And finally, now is the time to order your turkey for Thanksgiving!!!

Gobble, gobble!! Enjoy the warm weather this weekend. 

Click the links below to check out some of our current listings!

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Posted in MGS Group, Real Estate
Oct. 22, 2022

Market Update: Week of 10/17/22

"It depends on who you ask!"

 

 

That is my answer when it comes to people questioning if the market has shifted dramatically. In Metro West, Realtors will tell you it's certainly a different environment than just a few months ago. In the Boston/Brookline area our agents are busy, busy, busy, especially in the luxury market. These are my takeaways after a busy few weeks here...

 

This COULD be the top of the market,

but there are buyers out there.

Click the photo for more information on 15 Howe Street, Wellesley!

There are certain houses that are experiencing all-out bidding wars! Buyers are losing out after offering to pay way over the listing price and throwing hefty deposits down on paper. We have seen them in Cambridge, Boston, Marblehead, and Wellesley. I had one buyer call me with deep regret that he didn't offer asking or above on a property. He was discounting the price based on a correction he predicted for the future. In the end, he missed out on a great house that can't be replicated and was upset. Other homes are not selling after a few weeks and we are seeing price reductions to entice a sale. Hard to pinpoint the pattern just yet- it's spotty in all price ranges. There are record sales and others aren't moving.

 

"My current mortgage rate is so good, why would I ruin that and trade up with a higher rate?"

This is the most common thing I am told by sellers who want a change, but the low cost of staying put is too enticing. In my opinion this will be a key factor for keeping inventory low- preventing a build up which is customary in a down market. What a strange dichotomy to have a struggling housing market because of rates, yet still there are so few homes for sale. Buyers- keep your eye out for a good opportunity and take it! Look at the big picture.

Rent, rent, rent...

In one day I had four people reach out about rentals in our area. Rental prices have not gone down and people are willing to pay them. Investors are still looking for good deals to take advantage of the demand, especially those who can pay cash. They are happy to park their money in real estate as the stock market tumbles. Buyers are willing to wait out the interest rates.

Change the mindset...think 2019 

It was unrealistic for houses to sell in a matter of hours for years. A typical balanced market allows people to be thoughtful in their process and really get to know a house before buying it. This can lead to healthier deals that stay together. We do live in a "blue chip" market though, that people will always want to relocate to, so if there is a downturn the hope is we will not drop as quickly and dramatically as other parts of the country. And guess what, if that happens we will rebound as well. It's all a cycle.

A home is where we live and build our lives,

not a place to always build wealth.

Always look at the big picture. If you lived in your home a long time, do you remember exactly what you paid? I bet you don't! (Thank you Rachel Goldman of MGS for that reminder). What you most likely do remember is raising your family there, holidays, decorating, the good times and the bad. It's the backdrop for our lives. Our primary residence isn't always a wealth building asset.

 

Speaking of wealth I do want to share a notable topic for my Massachusetts readers - politics aside, this will have effects on our homeowners. Question 1, a constitutional amendment on the November 8th ballot, taxes income over $1M at 4%. This will include the profit you make on the sale of your home if it crosses the $1M threshold. You already pay a stamp tax of $4.56 per $1000 of the sale of your home when it closes, and this will be on top of that. As you can imagine the local real estate lobby groups want you to vote "no" on question one.

 

I hope you find this informative. As always, open to discussion. Here are this week's statistics, and as you can see - a healthy number of houses have still gone under agreement and inventory is still low!

 

Have a great week!! 

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Oct. 8, 2022

Market Update: Week of 10/3/22

The fall market is ON, and we are stepping into a pattern here with enough sales to tell the story, at least this chapter. To me, the selling climate doesn't feel dire or dramatic - it just feels similar to the years before 2020 slammed the market into high gear. Some sellers are looking back to the good old days about 6 months ago, and some buyers are looking forward to 6 months from now predicting a correction (that may or may not happen.) Conflicting expectations can cause some tension, but the market adjusts to a new norm pretty quickly so hopefully we will all get on the same page very soon. The deals we have put together in the last few weeks were swift and efficient. They were not bidding wars that propelled over asking selling prices, but the sellers will still walk away making a substantial profit on their home in most cases. Are interest rates the culprit behind the slower pace? They may play a part, but they are just one ingredient.

Not only have I been shopping for houses for my clients, but interest rates too. And if you look hard enough you will find a product that can save hundreds of dollars a month. One of my mortgage brokers can offer clients 4.5% on a jumbo 30 year loan!!! Wow!!! I shared that with one family and this huge savings helped propel them back in the game and they have put an incredible house under contract this week. I am happy to share the mortgage contact if you want to reach out. Don't be discouraged- where there is a will, there is a way!! 

As I have said in previous blogs, prices have not dropped, even if properties are staying on the market a bit longer than a day or a weekend. This week I have had buyers ask me "what is wrong with it?" when a house is on for more than a few days. Those who are ready to purchase a house should start seeing this slower pace and longer days on market as a great opportunity to get a house they would not have been able to win in a bidding war earlier this year. The good houses in great locations will sell and you will miss out if you get caught in over-analyzing the market and the "deal" instead of keeping your eye on the prize which is getting a home for you and your family. Inventory has snuck up a little as you can see in the numbers above.

Now that we are all spending more time in our houses with winter approaching, it's a good time to think about decorating. I found this fun article on what trends we need to let go of as we head into 2023!! I guess I need new kitchen chairs based on this list!!

 

Lastly, I introduced 2 amazing listings this week! 15 Howe Street, Wellesley is a cozy, charming modern farmhouse in the center of town, and 16 Gail Road is a bright and airy custom-designed home on the south side of Weston. Call me for more information!

 
Posted in MGS Group, Real Estate
Sept. 26, 2022

Market Update: Week of 9/19/22

Lots of headlines this week! Chatter everywhere ranges from Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, and his texting habit (for some reason this is a big topic in my house!) , to the the Queen, to the stock market's continuing decline and interest rates. And the most talked about item on that list is probably the least provocative - INTEREST RATES, but it effects our wallets.

We have become a rate-obsessed country with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell using them as his major inflation reduction tool. In an interview with CNN, a reporter asked what he hopes to achieve. "When I say 'reset,' I'm not looking at a particular, specific set of data or anything," Powell said. "What I'm really saying is that we've had a red-hot housing market all over the country where, famously, houses were selling to the first buyer at 10% above the ask before even seeing the house, that kind of thing. So, there was a big imbalance between supply and demand." (see below the inventory is still relatively low!)

"Powell said housing prices were going up at an unsustainably fast level. The "reset" should "help bring prices more closely in line with rents and other housing market fundamentals.

"That's a good thing," Powell said. "For the longer term, what we need is supply and demand to get better aligned so housing prices go up reasonably and people can afford houses again."

So how does his actions play out real-time in my world of Metro West real estate?

  • Interest rates could perpetuate the inventory problem, since sellers won't want to move in order to keep with the lower payments they currently have. One client said just that to me this week. 
  • There are still bidding wars and housing is selling quickly. This scenario is in pockets, but it is not quite a buyer's market now.
  • We HAVE NOT seen prices heading lower as of now.
  • BUT in some areas of the state and country buyers are holding off on purchasing a new home or breaking contracts because their payments have ballooned.

 

A smart colleague from MGS Group said it really well - while it's isn't a hard data point, the truth is that A LOT of people moved in the last two years. The pace is naturally going to slow down. People will always need to move however, and thank goodness, since that is what we do! :) Just this week a buyer is flying in from Los Angeles to house shop since they are moving east. Our lives don't stop because of interest rates, we are always changing and evolving. Here's a sneak peak at this week's fabulous listings I launched - click the links to see all of the details!

 

 

 

I end this week with some shameless self promotion. I just finished my new "About Me" video. Check it out, I hope you like it and would love to call you a client one day if you aren't already. Have a great weekend!!

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Posted in Real Estate
Sept. 11, 2022

Market Update: Week of 9/5/22

My husband Jeff is a huge F1 racing fan and each Friday morning his phone is tuned to the qualifying race in some far away land in order to see what position the teams get for the start of the competition the following day. That's how I feel about the beginning of this selling season. I am hoping the events of this week and next, tell me (and in turn you) where the real estate market is positioned for at least this fall.

With the limited sales data I have so far it seems to me the course has changed just a bit and is perhaps a little slicker for sellers, but not by much! The few well-priced properties that came on in A+ locations flew off the market this week. Of course in order to tell a full story we need to examine a market by specific price ranges which vary greatly. The urgency buyers have seems to be for the properties priced under $2M. Our building inventory priced north of $3M is much more substantial and noteworthy. The luxury buyer is the face of the market least affected by interest rates typically, but more affected by changes in the financial markets. For example in Weston roughly 80% of the houses currently on the market are more than $2.5M and in Wellesley about 50% of the inventory is above $2.5M. Perhaps there is an opportunity for buyers if that is your price range!

We don't seem to be anywhere near a housing recession here with this limited inventory. More new listings will come on however as the fall rush tends to last at least through Halloween!!

In terms of pricing nationally, an article in CNBC had this to say: "Prices are now 43% higher than they were at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the S&P Case-Shiller national home price index. The supply of homes for sale is growing, up 27% at the start of September compared with the same time a year ago, according to Realtor.com. While that comparison seems large, it’s still not enough to offset the years-long shortage of homes for sale."

When looking at the real estate market through the lens of investors , interest rates have dramatically affected buying power and I have seen a shift. The numbers talk and if you aren't making a profit then you must walk away from a deal. With 5-8% loan rates for investors, it's more difficult to make money even with rising rents and you are left with finding creative financing (happy to explain what that is if you want to reach out privately). Even large builders who had closed their inventory to investors in the last few years, are starting to engage with investors again as end users back out of buying their new houses before completion since they are no longer able to afford the payments with the raised rate. 

 

Coming up in the next few weeks I am thrilled to be presenting two fabulous listings in Wellesley. A fantastic 5 bedroom home in Wellesley Farms set in a popular neighborhood, and a charming Cape-style home in Natick also in a much desired area. More details to come! Click here to see all of MGS Group's listings. 

 

I hope that back to school and the beginning of fall was an easy transition. My girls are all adapting well to the school schedule and so are Mom and Dad. More exciting news to come next week. Thanks for reading!

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Aug. 25, 2022

Market Update: Week of 8/22/22

Last Monday after the blog was released, my day was spent navigating two bidding wars for different clients. One was for my listing, a fabulous condo in Wellesley and the second for a buyer in Weston who had set their sights on a lovely Cape-style home. There were a handful of bidders in each scenario, but the game was the same whether there were two people bidding or ten. For each client it came down to dropping ALL contingencies and upping your price significantly. The adrenaline and stress that came with this game is a feeling I have come to know well in the last few years. This frenzy however happened in the mid-August heat during a time when it seems like both towns have decreased their population to 20 people while everyone else is away wrapping up vacations. Not our strongest selling season ever, but I believe the undercurrent of pent up demand for houses is still there brewing for fall. This was a sign to me of what is to come - a continued strong buyer pool. 

Whispers between agents about new listings coming on the market for the fall are starting to get louder and with each new property we hear about, texts are pushed out to buyers who get in their cars for drive by's with the hope in a few weeks they can finally land a home. This is truly being played out although the buzz among my colleagues is that they are not expecting many new listings to pop in the coming weeks, keeping inventory low like we are seeing below.

Juxtapose this with the headlines arriving in my inbox daily. (Many from my Mom and Dad who have a vested interest in my career not crashing.) 

These are a few examples of articles I am reading, "Housing market in much worse shape than Fed wants to Admit," (Yahoo Finance) or "Here is What a Housing Recession means for Homebuyer and Sellers" (CNBC). I have the luxury of perspective as a former journalist to read through the headlines, and while I don't dispute the fact that sales volume has slowed a lot since last year, the reasons are not all doom and gloom. Rising interest rates make a difference, but as I have said before, people are also spending their money on other things compared to last year when they were stuck at home, turning on their homes, and then going to buy a new one. This year we are all going out to dinners, heading to the beach, traveling by plane and exploring new lands. Life has thankfully become more well-balanced. Inventory is still historically low- this does not make a housing recession. It feels more like this summer was 2019- not a bad time if you remember. I promise the minute things seem dire I will be here to report it!

 I have put together video segments to educate everyone on the buying and selling process. The first one was released this week and I talk to first time homebuyers. Check it out.

 

Things are getting real as fall approaches- I don't know about you but I am excited for my crew to get back on a schedule. The change in weather doesn't excite me as much, as I am a summer girl for sure! Enjoy the end of the season.

 

 
Aug. 21, 2022

Market Update: Week of 8/15/2022

   When we head to Cape Cod to see my parents in the summer months, we play a game, "how many boats can you see from the bridge?" The person whose guess is closest to the number of boats on either side wins! The last few weeks my kids and I now play how many trucks are lined up on our street on any given day, since neighbors on all sides are doing significant work to their homes. There doesn't seem to be any economic slowdown locally. If people are putting off projects it's not apparent here.

   The builders in Metro West - Boston certainly seem busy as you drive around the neighborhoods! If you are trying to schedule a contractor, many are a year out before they can get to you and new speculative building projects seem on the rise.

 

   Juxtapose that with the Wall Street Journal article this week that says housing starts are down almost 2% nationally. Here's the thing - we live in a part of the country that loves to buck trends, and it's what's so great about New England. According to the chief economist for the website realtor.com,  "the Realtor.com 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes report shows that despite a generally cooling housing market nationwide, ZIPs in the Northeast, and particularly in historic New England, remain competitive, with homes selling quickly and attracting more shoppers than in other parts of the country.” The inventory is still alarmingly low which helps drive the demand.

Good for us, right? I think so. And even if the market rebalances itself and tips a little more towards a benefit for buyers, is that really a bad thing? We don't expect to see a dramatic drop in prices for sellers, so if buyers actually have a fighting chance of getting a house, good for them! One buyer told me the other day that last year was demoralizing for her, and that's painful to hear. Buyers are people too!

Next week I have clients who will be closing on a gorgeous home in Concord that they have been building for the past year. This has been a labor of love and their design is to be admired. I posted a few shots of the finished product on instagram @teriadlerhomes and the response was incredible. So here is a sneak peak for you too if you don't follow me!

 

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer! We are gearing up for the beginning of school in this house. Some call it the "most wonderful time of the year!" 

 

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

 
Aug. 12, 2022

Market Update: Week of 8/8/22

I had a closing this week with Michael Harper of MGS Group, and we're excited to share the numbers with you! 5 Erwin Road is a one-of-a-kind waterfront home in Wayland that delivered some impressive statistics.

 

  • List Price: $4,975,000
  • Sales Price: $4,825,000
  • Sold for 98% of asking 
  • 5 days on market

 

That's a new high for Wayland, which has seen historic home prices over the last year! So happy to be a part of the success for our sellers. 

I was asked this week, how much have prices gone down in the last few months? Intuitively I replied they haven't, and after looking more closely at the data I felt even better about that answer. We have not seen a dip in selling prices. In fact, well priced properties are trading in days and others are selling in weeks, perhaps with a price reduction. But were those properties priced correctly to start? Probably not- realistic pricing matters.

We still don't have any indications that we are in a "bubble," because that would mean it would burst. I have many buyers in my pipeline who are chomping at the bit to buy a house and are still anxiously waiting for new properties to come on. (Most likely they will be waiting until after Labor Day when the fall market starts. Everyone is on vacation!)

In an article in Fortune Magazine, Robert Shiller a professor at Yale University who has predicted many housing corrections, is concerned. That said, not everyone agrees with him.

 

"Over the coming year, home prices are expected to rise. That's according to forecast models produced by the Mortgage Bankers AssociationFannie MaeFreddie MacCoreLogic, and Zillow. Meanwhile, modest home price declines are currently being forecast by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, Capital Economics, Zelman & Associates, and Zonda.

Why do some industry insiders think home price declines are unlikely? For starters, the country outlawed the subprime mortgages that sank the market a decade ago. Not to mention, homeowners are less debt-burdened this time around. Back in 2007, mortgage debt service payments accounted for 7.2% of U.S. disposable income. Now it's just 3.8%."

 

 

As I am writing this, the stock market is rallying. While inflation climbed in July it was at a slower pace than expected, showing that the Fed's plan is working. This comes from CNBC, "Prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, a slowing pace from the previous month due largely to a drop in gasoline prices."

 

And if you look at the existing inventory in the area it is still low! People will always need housing in any economic climate and if there is nowhere for them to go, the law of supply and demand will keep the real estate market moving. In my opinion, higher interest rates could also keep that inventory low, as homeowners choose to stay put and hold onto their low payments rather than trade that low rate for a higher one.

I thought I would end this week's blog with a fun article I found in Architectural Digest. If you are going to do some redecorating this fall, you may want to stay away from these trends 😂

Are you curious about what your house is worth in this market? I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@teriadler.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.