Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

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.

 
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.