I received a call this week from a reporter with Bloomberg news who wanted to talk about bidding wars in the high end of the real estate market. As I was being interviewed about the luxury market, I reminded him to not lose sight of the fact that behind these high end homes, there are still people. The families in the multi-million dollar properties are trying to figure out where to go next, and if they will be able to find that place just like everyone else. That means their homes also aren't coming on the market. The stories are pretty similar among each price band, albeit sometimes the robust price tags of $5M and up stay on the market a little longer, as there are less people who can afford them. However, there is one exception to this trend; a price range that is writing its own chapter.
The weekly chart of inventory in our towns is becoming something we are getting used to. Seeing this week-to-week helps shed some perspective on what is happening. New listings trickle on, but come March I am predicting a rush of new properties. It most likely won’t be enough for everyone, but will help! 
What is disappearing both in our area and across the country are smaller single family homes. Each time a client calls with aspirations to buy for under $1M in the metro west area, my heart breaks because the inventory is so limited and our search is bound to be a tough one.
Jeff and I bought in Wellesley in 2006. The house was an adorable 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath stunner with a family room, and we paid $770,000 (we were in a bidding war with 7 other people, even then!). That house traded after us, pre-pandemic for $1.2M with not many capital improvements.
Elaine Bannigan, who was my real estate agent and got me into this biz, owns Pinnacle Residential Properties and just released her comprehensive report on the Wellesley-Weston market. She said it really well - "Young families yearn for this possibility (buying their first small house.) Yet, it's vanishing in America. In 1982, 40% of the newly constructed homes were entry level. By 2019, the annual share had fallen to 7%. The decline has been as 'steady as a metronome,' says Freddie Mac's chief economist. It's a huge problem if you think about the fact that home equity accounts for the bulk of wealth for the overwhelming majority of Americans." This was a very interesting perspective I wanted to share, from a great report.
I also wanted to follow up on our "hot' listing in Belmont at 82 Country Club Lane. In the end, we negotiated 6 strong offers, and the winner was an incredible one that I am happy to share when it closes. That buyer crafted a bid that could not be refused. They stepped up to the plate in an impressive way and landed their dream home. A great strategic move by them, and congrats to my sellers!
I won't complain about mortgage rates each week, I promise, but maybe just a little this week. I literally felt like I was watching the rates go up in real time. I know the mortgage brokers were, and they aren't happy to make those calls to clients. In North Carolina I locked in two properties at 4.25% and then another the next day at 4.325%. One year ago my rates were 3.3%. These are investor rates, and if you are buying your primary residence they are much lower. A 30-year fixed (jumbo loan) can be found around 3.125% according to US Bank and the adjustables are lower at 2.625%. Still historically low!
Finally, let's end on some fun houses! We toured amazing homes this week and color was everywhere!! Neutrals aren't the only game in town anymore. It's fun and refreshing to see people take chances in their decorating. Here are a few samples including one of our coming soon properties in Wellesley.
Have a great week! Keep your comments coming. I always love hearing from you.