Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

Feb. 4, 2023

Market Update: Week of 1/30/23

 

 

 

I am having a pity party! It feels like a real estate hangover since the other night my darling buyers REALLY stepped up for a house they wanted and didn't get it.

There were 17 offers on this lovely Wellesley home and our offer was 17% over the asking price (the number 17 coming up twice was a coincidence). However, I don't suggest playing that number, because sadly we didn't get the house. We came in second in that race, and in the game of real estate that doesn't take the prize.

Waves of emotion that bottled up from the last few years all came rushing back - my frustration for buyers and the intense excitement for sellers is playing out again. It runs strong on both ends.

The frenzy around houses is the talk amongst agents all around the country. Predictions of a slower, more balanced market in 2023 don't seem to be coming true. Instead, (not to gloat) as I predicted all last year, the demand right now seems just as strong as last spring and inventory is pretty tight up to the $3 million range. When a new home hits the market, within days agents are reporting dozens and dozens of showings and ultimately bidding wars. As I wrote last week though, I think the range to watch is the high end luxury home segment. For the second week in Weston and Wellesley more than half of the homes for sale are priced north of $3M. If I look back at the crash in 2009 (which I don't like to do), that was the segment of the market which was most affected by the downturn, with prices adjusting down between 30%-40%. I actually don't see that happening drastically now, but the build up is real at this point. Hopefully come the peak of our market in March-April the inventory will become more varied.

 

As you can see below there just aren't a lot of houses out there to buy right now.

It's early in the season and we are expecting frigid cold temperatures, so most likely with the tulips and daffodils comes a robust selling season with more and more houses for sale. Anxious buyers and competitive real estate agents don't enjoy slower periods, even though we know it will pick up. Patience is a virtue they say, and so we wait.

Here in Massachusetts we were thrilled to learn that more and more companies are deciding to relocate their headquarters here. The latest is LEGO Brand, and that news can't help but bring a smile to your face. The more diverse our economic base is in Massachusetts, the better off we are as a whole! The varied fields that call Boston home is the secret sauce that keeps our local economy balanced and more stable.

Have an amazing weekend and stay warm if you are local!!

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
Jan. 29, 2023

Market Update: Week of 1/23/2023

I continue to be encouraged by the activity in the Metro West real estate market! What a busy weekend we had with showings at our new listings. Continuous traffic added up to about 90 GROUPS through both of our properties in Wellesley and Newton. It was a workout! As well, both were gifted multiple offers from excited and qualified buyers. It was a smart move for sellers to come on early since the inventory is still incredibly low and buyers are ready to start their searches.

Already, we are seeing a much brisker January compared to last year. More listings were presented in January 2023 than a year ago. Here is a snapshot of Wellesley for example.

But don't be totally surprised by the 128% uptick in listings, there were so few houses for sale last year (8) that it doesn't take much to trigger a dramatic increase. And in my opinion, the reason so few houses have sold so far this year is because the 2022 fall market was slower (as is typcial). The fall retreated back to our secondary selling season, as it was before the pandemic - spring remains our robust time of year, of course. During the height of the pandemic all 12 months were frantic and there was not a break in activity.  

 

What's also interesting is that our high end inventory is building. Out of 16 houses in Wellesley currently for sale as I write this, 10 are north of $3M (62%). In Weston where there are 38 homes for sale, 26 are north of $3M- that's 68% of those for sale (and 5 were higher than $10M). That said, the luxury market is still selling- it just takes longer since fewer people are looking in that range.

There were less houses listed this week. The storms, wind, and rain probably caused that washout. The market peaks in March and April so some may be waiting for warmer weather before showcasing their homes. Check out this week's numbers below for many towns:

 

 

 

We had some fun with marketing this week. If you are skating, playing basketball or swimming, check out my ad below when looking up what rink you're playing in at the Boston Sports Institute, and if you happen to pick up Vanity Fair you will find me, the team and maybe your house advertised! 

Here's to a great week! 

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.

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Posted in MGS Group, Real Estate
Jan. 20, 2023

Market Update: Week of 1/16/2023

Happy New Year! Is it too late in the month to say that? Perhaps, but it's the first blog of 2023 so it's the start of the new year for us! 

Let's get right to it! For this blog, I am tuning out all the negative articles about a dramatic downturn in real estate to write about work this past weekend. It was a busy one in the residential real estate world with bidding wars all around. 

Take Wellesley for example last week where 8 properties went under agreement. Six of them were new, and two had been on the market for a few months and still got close to their asking price. The price range of these now under agreement properties range from $1M to $5M. 

 

This activity seems to prove that the slower-paced fall market was a shift back to a typical pre-pandemic second selling season. This is traditionally a better time to be a buyer, since there are fewer people to compete against. The seller's market is in the early spring - when people are gearing up to be closed by late spring. That's how it's been for decades. Below are this week's numbers.

My number two takeaway is that buyers are resilient and they adapt. My client happily exclaimed to me, "We got 4.7% on a 7 year ARM!" Yes, mortgage rates have come down. One year ago 4.7% would have frightened us all, now it's a deal. Rates have inched down in recent weeks. An adjustable rate continues to be your most cost effective product.

Rates provided by Leader Bank

Open houses felt like spontaneous parties, with lines of cars on both sides of the street. People seemed giddy and excited to be out touring properties after the long holiday break. The message to sellers is this, there still aren't enough houses to satisfy the demand of buyers here! It doesn't seem that you missed the window to fetch a great price on your home - now is the time to list. You can most likely still build wealth through the sale of your home (if you didn't buy in the last year)!

On Wednesday we launched two fabulous and stylish properties. A townhome in Newton and a single family house in Wellesley set on the Brook Path. It's great to be back at work, and I will keep you updated on every twist and turn this market takes!

Take a deep breath- 2023 is here and we are going to do it all over again!

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.

Dec. 12, 2022

Market Update: Week of 12/12/2022

 

An Ode to the 2022 Real Estate Market

 

 

 

As 2022 comes to an end, I hope this real estate blog seems like an old friend.

 

Chock full of information that's useful and fun, it was meant to educate you and I hope that was done.

 

2022 started like the year before... houses were the prize and we could have used more.

 

Bidding wars galore, it was tough on buyers to digest. They gave it their all- and were put to the test.

 

No inspection, cash only, whatever sellers desire, they would have given their first born or paid enough money for the owners to retire!

 

It was draining, it was historic, the rush was intense- but could it last forever, did that make sense?

 

Money seemed free, the interest rates were ones to keep- who cared if you overpaid since your monthly payments were cheap.

 

Then summer came and there were rumblings of a change. Inflation was high and the government was acting strange.

 

They wanted to make a move and had waited too long, so to slow down the pace they came on quite strong!

 

Up went the rates and the frenzy slowed down. Buyers seemed scared and sellers started to frown. 

 

What's more, the pandemic was over and there were things to do- travel and shopping was about to ensue. 

 

Ask an agent, it felt like 2019- a more manageable pace for sure, although some weren't so keen.

 

Buyers were out there, but a little more reserved while sellers were getting a bit unnerved. 

 

Gone were the days of a hundred thousand dollars over ask, finance contingencies and other typical tasks were back.

 

Inspections, negotiations and buyer visits returned, the fall was an adjustment as we all learned.

 

The headlines from newspapers screamed "the real estate market was a mess", but here in Metro West we responded well to this unexpected mess. 

 

Prices didn't drop and inventory didn't rise, there was just a bit more of an equilibrium to everyone's surprise.

 

I am optimistic about the next year with listings and buyers in tow, I look forward to working with all of them so! 

 

We will hunt for great rates and special houses to buy, and their lives will be settled and that is no lie! 

 

What a year it has been defined by rates, but it's not as bad as reported and we are in a good state. 

 

See you in January when the real estate market will start to roar, thanks for a great year, I mean it from my core.

 

XOXO,

Teri

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
Dec. 4, 2022

Market Update: Week of 11/28/22

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends. I certainly did, and enjoyed seeing clients who picked up their freshly baked pies.

 

 

 

I saw a great meme that read "December is like the Friday of the year", and another that said, "this month's problems fall under the 'can wait to 2023' category." Those are both reflective of how I feel. December is such a nice time to relax and recharge for the new year. As you have heard me say many times, a few weeks into January our spring real estate market starts in earnest and then it's full force ahead through June! I have a number of great listings in the pipeline that I know you will LOVE!!

 

 

That being said, I would hardly say that real estate activity has come to a screeching halt. Our weekly statistics show that the number of houses going under contract far outweighs what is coming on the market, with a typical amount of properties for sale in all price ranges. The average days on market is around 25 in most towns- a healthy timeframe and not alarming.

 

 

There are still some bidding wars out there. As an example, my client found herself up against 3 others in Natick this week. Some houses have been sitting, but in many cases that means the price was too aggressive from the start. 'Pricing matters' will be the mantra of 2023! 

Nationally, the federal reserve hinted that they may not be quite as aggressive as they initially thought on raising rates this month, after inflation showed signs of cooling. In fact the mortgage rates dropped down from their high of 7% to the mid 6%'s in the last few weeks. An adjustable rate seems to be the best way to go right now and then you can refinance when they drop.

There are still renters out there as well- even during this holiday period which can be slower. My prediction is that rents will not continue to rise as aggressively as they have been - at least for the foreseeable future. A good landlord can't be greedy right now and has to be smart - it doesn't make sense to raise rents right now with such uncertainty out there amongst tenants. Having a steady tenant is much more valuable.

 

 

So sit back and relax this month. Give yourself time to recharge if you can- of course, if you want to buy your loved one a house, give me a call!!!

 

 

And for all you Boston readers, wasn't it fun having some royalty around? My amazing assistant Elise was quite the Royal Watcher and found the Princess of Wales just outside her door in East Boston. Enjoy!

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. 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