Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

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.

 
July 29, 2022

Market Update: Week of 7/25/22

I am writing this week's blog from stunning Nantucket while vacationing with my family! We are all so lucky to have this beautiful island in our backyard and just a boat ride away. As I see it, there are many sides to Nantucket - the incredible raw landscape that is truly breathtaking, some of the best restaurants and shopping out there, wonderful people, and incredibly high housing prices that nearly doubled in the last two years. The extraordinary selling prices and rents make it nearly impossible for longtime residents and those working on the island to find places to live. A few restaurants closed this year because it was hard to hire help with limited housing for them. To shed some insight on the market, this is what you can get for your money:

This charming $3,500,000- $4,000,000 home in the Surfside neighborhood has the following qualities:

 

  • 1900 Square Feet
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 full baths
  • 1.2 Acre
  • One block from the Beach
  • Lovely condition
  • Bought for $1M in 2012

Not a bad investment, right? If we are to see a slow down in the real estate market, I believe the first hint of a correction will be seen first in secondary home markets. Fiscally nervous homeowners would be putting off buying vacation homes, or selling their current ones before their primary residences. However, I have talked with real estate agents on Nantucket and the Cape, and while there has been a shift, it surprisingly seems exactly in line with what we are witnessing in Metro West. Houses that are priced well in desired locations are moving quickly. Sellers who are using record selling prices from a year ago as their target are sitting longer and are ultimately experiencing price reductions. It's a slow but noticeable change, although not as drastic as some headlines will have you believe.

 

Interest rates went up by 3/4 of a point Thursday or 75 basis points, which was expected. The good news for home buyers is that it did not affect mortgage rates as the jump was already factored in weeks ago. In fact, mortgage rates dipped a little in the last few weeks. 

 

The chief economist at Keller Williams had this to say on the status of the market:

“The housing market is now slowing down with home sales down 14% in June, and that trend is on pace to continue through July. Home price appreciation has begun to slow and mortgage rates are a primary factor slowing demand for home purchases. Over the next several months, the housing market will be even more in line with pre-pandemic market conditions.” That may be true, but inventory is still quite low in most towns as you see in the numbers below.

Conditions are changing. Now more than ever, who you use to sell your house matters! You want someone who is savvy and on top of market conditions. Pricing your house well is key and you need to be thoughtful, not emotional. I anticipate a nice fall market where there is a balance between what sellers and buyers want, but you need a smart and astute agent who can get you there. Of course, I would like to be that person! 

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.

July 23, 2022

Market Update: Week of 7/18/22

One analyst calls it a "freeze", others say that buyers are "pausing", and some call it "normalizing." Just like there was constant chatter about the hottest real estate market on record over the last two years, a lot of attention is being given to its potential decline. Let's not forget though, that what is happening is by design! The Feds are increasing rates to help curb inflation. Markets where prices soared to incredible highs won't be sustainable as interest rates have more than doubled making it much harder for people to afford their mortgage payments. So yes - in some cases, buyers will back off. Analysts are keeping an eye on Florida, the Southwest, and parts of the Midwest for example.

 Lucky for us, we live in a state that can be compared to a blue chip stock. The Greater Boston region is an established, conservative, and well-rounded area with varied industry. In the past this helped insulate us from severe market corrections compared to other parts of the US. I was recently interviewed by the Boston Globe for this article on the record prices people are paying for land, and it helps support the theory that the demand for land/houses is still strong.

An article from CNBC also said it really well! 

 

"Most of the pain is being felt at the bottom of the market: the first time homebuyer, who often has the least amount of money for a down payment and is trying to make the monthly payment work for their budget. Sales of homes priced below $250,000 fell by more than 30% in June. 

 

For those who can afford to buy a home with even a higher mortgage rate, the housing market slowdown has been a silver lining- more options. As homes get fewer offers, they tend to linger on the market longer." That's why investors are on the sidelines right now, waiting for those opportunities. As you can see in our towns, except for Needham the number of properties that had accepted offers were more than new listings that were introduced. Inventory is still quite low too, another reason the experts in my field don't anticipate a real estate crash but a correction.

 

Wherever you are reading this from, I hope you are having a fabulous summer relaxing and spending time with family and friends. The weather has been so cooperative, and you deserve it! We all need this heat after the long winters we endure! Until next week- Enjoy!

 

July 15, 2022

Market Update: Week of 7/11/22

This week it was revealed that inflation tied to the cost of consumer goods in the US rose 9.1% in June year-over-year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yes, that's a lot and a large amount of data used to calculate this number are housing costs and rent prices. Housing prices were up 5.5% year-over-year according to national statistics.

If you are financing that house you want to buy, it will cost you more monthly based on your interest rate even with rates plateauing just a bit in the last few weeks. (That spurred a slight uptick in refinances.) A jumbo interest rate on average is around 5.8% this week. For investors or those purchasing a second home, that number is more than 6%. My husband and I just closed on an investment property at a 6.3% rate. A tough one to swallow, but as my colleague Brian Holt in Raleigh, NC shared with me-

 

 

Marry the House and Date the Rate!

 

 

You can always refinance down the road! It may take some time however, since the feds will most likely follow through with another rate hike this year. That said, houses are still selling according to the numbers below:

 

You are now probably asking - how does that translate in our world?

 

There is no doubt that the market has slowed down. Sellers who listed their homes at a high price to test the market, or what we like to call a "make me move number" have made the decisions to withdraw those properties from the market since they aren't selling quickly, or over asking. There are more price reductions than just a few months ago and the inventory is slightly higher, albeit still historically low. 

 

The biggest factor I have noticed this year comes from my own observation (we were in Europe for two weeks) - people are vacationing!!

 

Potential buyers and sellers aren't sitting at home waiting for their MLS alerts in the heat of the summer; they are on the beach, traveling abroad, or at National Parks spending their money on trips and not just housing. People have other healthy distractions, and houses are not top of mind, because we can now venture out of them and live our lives. In my opinion, the change in the market I am noticing doesn't seem drastic, it seems reminiscent of 2019. Prices are not plummeting at all - all that needs to be tempered are the seller's expectations, since the days of 20 bids on a property seem over for now.

Let's end with a little guessing game! While doing my research for today's blog, I came across a great article on the MOST expensive housing market in the country. It's not where you would think. Do you know which city it is? Send me an email with your guess! I promise I will respond!

 

Have a great week!!!

 

 
June 10, 2022

Market Update: Week of 6/6/2022

We've noticed a pattern with buyers lately that I wanted to share with you this week. At MGS Group we call it "non-buyer's remorse," and we've been seeing it quite often. I have also recently become a victim of this syndrome over a multi-family property in North Carolina. I should have bid on it for an investment property, and truly regret not doing so. I am sure my agent down there was frustrated with me!

Buyers are feeling this remorse about houses they decided not to bid on, or properties that they underbid on and lost. Once the house is under contract with someone else, they then desperately try to break up the deal between the seller and the future owner. We have witnessed this many times recently, and it's a complicated and emotional situation for everyone involved. These "non-buyer remorse" folks know they won't really get the house, so it's easy to throw out incredible terms if realistically you have nothing to lose. The problem with this regret is that it doesn't have to happen. Someone will be the next owner of a property for sale, and it can be you. Head into this process realistically knowing that these are still fast moving times and decisions have to be made quickly, but thoughtfully. I realize that is a tough balance, but quality agents have become quite skilled at it and can guide you. 

 

I urge buyers to block out the media hype proclaiming that things are slowing down dramatically. The good houses are still selling. Last night in a matter of hours, a $3M property in Wellesley had five offers and sold way over asking. This market has been hot for two and a half years now - it's the new normal, and here to stay in the near future, so best to embrace it. If you want to buy a house, jump in and get it done! There are strategies that work. We won't see the top until it's behind us.

 

The experts don't believe that a major correction is imminent. Yes, volume may slow down due to rising interest rates, but prices are expected to continue to rise a bit more or potentially plateau. I thought this data from CNBC nicely demonstrated the payment shift for buyers as a result of rising rates. However down in Raleigh-Durham North Carolina where there are lower price points, buyers are still out in full force and not holding back. 

 

The market is greater than us all! We see it time and time again, but I have the privilege of taking a step back and looking at the big picture as a real estate professional. It is just so interesting how the masses take on trends - and regret seems to be one right now. 

 

So get out there and buy that dream house now, move in, and start making memories. Let's not lose sight of the real reason behind your purchase. I have not had ONE client who regretted the house they bought since 2019- even with the craziness to get there. 

 

Finally, a little shameless self promotion! I was named this week as one of Boston Magazine's Top Producers in 2021, and just received the email I am recognized as one of the top 1000 brokers in the United States by the Wall Street Journal Real Trends rankings. Exciting!! Time to celebrate.

 

Happy Weekend!!!

May 28, 2022

Market Update: Week of 5/23/22

Here are some talking points at this weekend's BBQ for you!

National statistics show the start of a slow down. The CEO of Redfin said this week on CNBC, "Rates are probably six percent, inventories are increasing, sales volume will be somewhat fine, but prices are going to soften.” Maybe, but when I talk to brokers with boots on the ground in Massachusetts and my colleagues in North Carolina, we aren't seeing a slow down that's helping our buyers at all.

 

Check out the weekly numbers in and around our towns:

The market is still hot, hot, hot and there are only a handful of houses left for sale each week after buyers have come through. We are so busy now - and it's almost June!

Coming up, a number of great listings!

 

71 Carisbrooke Road, Wellesley for $4,195,000- An enchanting home set on multiple acres. This property boasts truly one of the most beautiful carriage houses I have ever seen.

I am also excited to share that I will be listing a fabulous home in Weston. It is the perfect family home with a rolling lawn, in a great south side neighborhood. More to come!

Enjoy the holiday weekend! Does anyone else feel like May just flew by? Until next 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.

 
 
 
 
May 21, 2022

Market Update: Week of 5/16/22

While out shopping last week I spotted a man in a T-shirt that said “Resilience 2020.” I was so struck by the shirt. The definition of resilience is to be “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions”, and we have needed this trait so much in the last few years. We have had to rely on resilience to overcome so much uncertainty and change. 

Sadly, we have seen that it’s been easier for some to muster the strength to be resilient more than others.

To personify the real estate market, it also has shown resilience. Despite the pandemic, an economy twisting and turning, rising interest rates, and a struggling stock market, the housing market has been quite resilient. It keeps on challenging buyers and pleasing sellers.

All of this to say that the real estate market continues to have strength, even with constantly changing conditions. How do I know? Look at the statistics below showing the number of houses that went under contract last week. And yes, those houses will trade for a significant percentage more than their listing price. Inventory overall has increased in some towns, especially Wayland where we were seeing only two houses on at one time.

 This shows us that buyers continue to be resilient too. Even if they've lost out on houses in the past, they are still in the game with a determination to win. In my opinion, I commend sellers thus far for not getting greedy and pricing their homes reasonably, so that buyers still see value. Don’t get me wrong, there are some homes that missed the mark and are sitting. In that situation this offers an opportunity for buyers to negotiate a property down and get a house. I have done that successfully in recent days for two clients!

My thoughts above don’t mean we aren’t in somewhat of a cooling period. Realtors across the nation are reporting that while they are still reaching historically high selling prices, in recent weeks the number of bids presented on properties in general is significantly less than just a few months ago. Instead of 10-12 offers on a property, agents are seeing two or three savvy, educated buyers who are stepping up and offering a lot of money and clean terms to get the job done. A much more efficient process.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that in April, sales dropped and “fell to their weakest pace in nearly two years.” In that same article it says that “prices rose 14.8% from a year earlier.” Interest rates are having a slight effect perhaps, but this chart should keep it in perspective where they stand historically.

 

Finally, this week my colleague Maggie Gold Seelig and I introduced this exceptional property at 91 Dean Road in Weston. Designed by architect Patrick Ahearn, this stunning home is not to be missed.

 

After Memorial Day I will be releasing another stunning listing on Carisbrooke Road in Wellesley - a chance to live on one of the most sought after roads! Also in Wellesley we will introduce a charming mid century modern home that is incredibly warm and inviting. 

 

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.

Have a great week!

May 7, 2022

Market Update: Week of 5/2/22

The topic of conversation when people see me these days continues to be: what is going to become of this market? You probably know that (along with most other experts) I believe we are NOT caught in a bubble that is going to suddenly break. It's an appreciation of prices with sound fundamentals, and that isn't going anywhere. 

The National Association of Realtors broke it down in terms of US Regions.  "These increases come as median single-family existing-home prices rose at a faster rate nationally – 15.7% – from one year ago, up to $368,200. In comparison, the year-over-year pace in the prior quarter was 14.3%. Notably, the South region made up 45% of single-family existing-home sales in the first quarter and notched a double-digit price appreciation of 20.1%. Meanwhile, the Northeast saw a climb of 6.7%, the Midwest 8.5%, and the West 5.9%."

If I were to take the temperature of the Metro West real estate market, I would say there seems to be a very slight lull. I attribute this minor pause primarily to buyer fatigue. It seems harder for me to convince buyers to head out and see good houses because they are in a pattern of assuming they won't win in a bidding war. Remember though, that isn't always the case. Someone has to win, and I know how to structure an offer to do so - just ask my readers who are sitting in their new homes reading this! 

As well, on some properties there is still room to negotiate. I had two old fashioned negotiations last week with houses that had been on for an average of 60 days. These buyers were able to have inspections, and in one case put in the safeguard of a mortgage contingency. How very 2019 of us! The market won't absorb just anything- if it's priced too high, people know and shy away.

Seasonally we typically slow down as we head towards Mother's Day and Memorial Day Weekend. Spring activities, graduations, proms, sports, etc. all ramp up with the warm weather and are a distraction from the house hunt.

The topic of the interest rates is a hot one too. In our market, sophisticated buyers aren't going to halt a search because of a 5% mortgage rate. Some people may hold off on selling because they don't want to trade up on a higher rate. Others may accelerate listing their home in anticipation of rates going up even further, and buyers may join them in that race.

Finally, I was speaking with a friend who is an executive at a major shoe company - she says their data indicates people aren't buying goods right now, rather it's all about experiences. If you try to book any trip this summer it's nearly impossible. Airline flights are filled and expensive, as are hotels. Retail numbers are trending up slightly, but at a much slower pace than last year. If people are spending more on travel and experiences they may pull back a little on homebuying. However, in my opinion not enough to make a dent in the demand and scarce inventory. Most of your "experiences" in life are in your home, and that's not going to change. 

 

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.

Cheers to a great week! 

April 23, 2022

Market Update: Week of 4/16/22

We're jumping right into this week's blog with a more serious mood than last week, as the real estate market has suddenly taken on a different vibe. Industry experts, including myself, are grappling with what's to come. In fact, economists at Fannie Mae are reporting the following about the future of home sales, and they're inferring there could be a modest recession. This is from an article by Inman News, a newsletter geared towards agents.

"In their latest forecast Tuesday, Fannie Mae economists said the projected downturn 'is not expected to resemble the severity or duration of the Great Recession,' but that higher mortgage rates are likely to cause home sales to decline by 7.4 percent this year and by 9.7 percent in 2023.

 

Fannie Mae had previously forecast that home sales would drop by 4.1 percent this year and 2.7 percent next year." 

The higher rates are really wreaking havoc as the Federal Reserve had planned. Rates now inching above 5% are slowing down refinances and the purchases of vacation homes. But this isn't going to increase inventory, in fact if someone is locked into a low rate, they may put off a move since that means taking on an interest rate nearly double what they are paying now.

These are long term predictions that are just whispers in the background. If we are to look at this moment in time, US home prices actually surged to a new record in March while the volume of sales decreased. According to the WSJ, existing home sales fell 2.7% in March. Some buyers have tapered off, exhausted from trying to find a home, and others have accelerated their search, anxious to lock in a mortgage before the rates creep even higher.

Locally we have seen a real slow down this week, but that's a seasonal "self imposed" break by Realtors in some ways. With the holidays last weekend and public school break this week, agents waited to put on new properties. A number of beautiful properties hit the market on Wednesday, and I would be surprised if they hang around long. Once we see the bidding wars subside, I promise you will be the first to hear about it in this newsletter.

I've listed another beautiful townhome in Wellesley this week, in the same development as one we listed a few weeks ago. SO close to Linden Square and the train, etc. A great place for someone out there who craves easy living!!

Next week I am pleased to officially present  this gorgeous Victorian in the heart of Wellesley Farms.

I think having impeccable taste and a design flair is a prerequisite to working with me this week, as my sellers each have amazing style!! Lucky me!!

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.

Cheers to a great week! 

 
 
 
    
 
April 16, 2022

Market Update: Week of 4/11/22

The other night, I was watching one of the many real estate shows on Netflix. I know you've all watched these series showing glamorous agents selling houses in mere hours or days, and then moving on to the next one. It all looks so easy, and those glamorous brokers are in heels too! Even I am impressed with how calm, cool, and collected they are with each deal, because that just isn't real life.  The truth is that reality is not quite as glamorous, but it is probably even more rewarding than you would think.

Recently I've had so many people say to me, “wow, it’s a great time to be a real estate agent!”. For the top performers (and I will humbly put myself in that category) it is always a great time, but only because we have always worked hard. That hard work pays off when we finally make it to the finish line. However, being paid at closing is truly the last thing we think of because there are so many important steps to get there. One misstep, and a deal can fall apart instantly. So this week, I thought some insight into the real world of a selling agent may be helpful!

First of all, selling houses in New England is done with a good coat and flat shoes. There is the occasional wedge heel that I will throw in to mix things up! I know of one Realtor around here who wears heels, and she’s a rock star in her 80’s. The rest of us would have a hard time in the snow, rain, or sleet,  climbing stairs dozens of times a day while navigating a stunning Jimmy Choo heel. If we can get away with a stylish sneaker that’s a win.

To be a listing agent is exciting these days, but it’s an early sprint that turns into a marathon. Thoughtful sellers are still putting in hard work to get their houses ready for the market, and I am in the backdrop managing that process with painters, stagers, organizers, landscapers, photographers, and floor plans. All of these resources were used to get the result pictured here - a very worthy investment!

All of this takes time, and not to mention the energy that homeowners put into the decision to move. It is a major life milestone, and not something I have ever seen someone take lightly. Some houses do sell in days after all of the preparation work and dozens of showings from morning to evening. Other properties don’t sell right away. Counseling clients, strategizing price, and staying on top of marketing is something I take very seriously. Sellers and buyers are on my mind day and night, and I know when they are in the game the feeling is mutual. In many cases I am helping sellers build wealth through the sale of their home, and that’s a big responsibility seven days a week.

Once a house sells and we have signed the purchase and sale contract, that doesn’t mean I am out of the picture.  You know the scary background music in a film when a potential villain approaches? Well... these days, that’s what we hear when the appraiser walks into a house armed with their measuring tape and notepad. Appraisers are great people - but they aren’t in every listing like we are, and don’t know what houses are going to trade for if they haven’t closed yet. In such a fast moving market with soaring prices, you have to question; will they take into account the other comparable properties that also sold for 20% over the listing price, or will they not see the value and send a report that is under the agreed upon price? It’s happened to me recently, and it is not fun. Managing this step in the process is critical these days to help move a deal forward. 

The dance to get to closing includes smoke inspections, final utility readings, buyer visits, furniture sales, and a final walk through. The last time a buyer walks through their new home before they send the money to the seller is a hold-your-breath moment for agents. We pray that the seller took the time to really clean their home after they've moved out.. The P&S states a house has to be “broom clean”,  a mere sweep and that’s it.  But can you imagine walking into your new house and having to deal with the previous owner's dirty fridge, toilet, and stove? You will hear a collective sigh of relief from the agents when we walk into a home that is sparkling and clean. It makes for a good closing, and well worth the time or money the seller used to get that result. Essentially, the golden rule applies! Too many times we are at the closing table scrambling to find a cleaner because the buyer is upset. That can easily be avoided so that everyone can move forward. Finish line reached!

So, yes - it takes lots of work and a thoughtful strategy to put a house on the market, even today. Houses don’t sell themselves like you see on TV and that’s where I come in- in practical shoes of course :) See below for this week's market numbers and mortgage rates!

 

To all who celebrate, we wish you a happy Passover and happy Easter this weekend!