Wellesley real estate update – November 2012 – Homes for Sale in Wellesley

Here is your update for Wellesley real estate in so far in 2012 as compared to 2011. The Wellesley home sales market has changed in many ways from last year, and I think it will change again in 2013.

Wellesley Housing market update August 21, 2012

Click here to view current Wellesley listings for sale.

Number of properties currently on the market in Wellesley:

  • Single Family: 122 Properties
  • Multi Family: 1 Property
  • Land: 7 Properties

 Number of new Wellesley Real Estate listings in the last month:

  • Single Family: 19 Properties
  • Multi Family: 0 Properties
  • Land: 2 Properties

Average list price for Real Estate in Wellesley over the last 6 months:

  • Single Family: $1,857,199
  • Land: $1,127,667

Selling a house or condo? Here is what you can learn from the second home market!

Perhaps there is no more challenging market for selling a property, than a market that is primarily second homes. Of course, one of the biggest factors in selling a home depends on the other inventory available for buyers to consider.

While away for a weekend, I met a couple that has a house for sale in a part of Maine, made up of mostly second homes – I will refer to them as the Smiths. The house is now listed for the third time, and they are now using a second real estate company. Not surprisingly, there is serious glut of properties for sale, very similar to the Smith’s house.

After speaking with them, and finding them to be quite frustrated with the slow moving sales in the area, I asked whether they had revisited pricing their house. As often is the case with my own clients, pricing is a touchy subject. And they were all too eager to explain to me why their house is so much nicer than many of the others for sale.

For the sake of this article, lets assume that the Smith’s house was in the better half of the similarly priced inventory. This, in my opinion, gives them a great opportunity! With the large inventory that has been sitting for years in this particular market, if priced lower than comparable houses (even if just marginally), they could really stand out as sellers. With buyers having so many options to choose from (as is the case around the country, not just in the second home market), a seller can really take advantage of the stale, over priced inventory that is their “competition” as sellers.

Whether selling a property in Wellesley , Newton , Brookline – Maine or Vermont, pricing to attract buyers is EVERYTHING. Buyers see a sale happening, with no pressure to buy because if a house they are interested in happens to sell – they know there will be others… many others. However, if a seller is realistic, takes the buyer’s perspective and beats the competition with an attractive price, an educated buyer will not wait to pursue it.

Sellers like the Smiths are often too eager to simply blame the market for their house not selling for the price they “want”. A slow market, with buyers taking their time, can work to a seller’s advantage if they realize what an opportunity they have when pricing their property.

This week in Metro West Real Estate…

As of today, June 25, 11 properties in Brookline, Newton, Needham, Wellesley and Weston sold within a week of coming on the market according to MLS. 7 were single families, and 4 were condos.
When priced properly, buyers will pull the trigger. Plus, with the severe winter delaying the spring market it appears that the market will remain active into July.
Search for MA listings

So, how is the real estate market????

I’m frequently asked, “How’s the market?”

Obviously there are several ways to answer the, “how’s the market?” question. This month I have done some research to provide a glimpse into the available single family inventory for sale in different towns. Simply put, this is the amount of supply (in months) for sale in each town.

Using the total sales during that last 6 months, compared to the number of single family listings currently for sale, I have shown the supply for each town. A town with 5 months of supply or less is considered to be a seller’s market. And a town with 6 months or more, is considered to be a buyers market.

Wellesley: 8 months supply
Weston: 20 months supply
Wayland: 15 months supply
Needham: 9 months supply
Westwood: 15 months supply
Natick: 6 months supply
Brookline: 11 months supply

What does this mean??? All of these towns have a
buyer’s market… HOWEVER… while this is a GREAT time to be a BUYER… It is also a great time to be a SELLER with an accurately priced property.

Search All MA Listings

Please call me with any related questions, or for more details about your town, property – or a town of interest. Or if you know someone who might be interested in getting some real estate advice.

Boston Globe: Wellesley officials close $2m budget gap

With days left before Wellesley’s Annual Town Meeting, officials announced that the town’s $2 million budget gap has been closed without laying off town employees.

Executive director Hans Larsen said Friday that the money is being saved by eliminating a bathroom renovation project at Hunnewell Field, energy-saving plans like retrofitting more of the town’s street lights with LEDs, and higher state funding projections.

“We have no layoffs and no pay freezes,” Larsen said. “We improved our projections and will maintain our programs and staff.”

In total, $1 million of the gap will be filled by the new cost estimates and cuts; the remaining $1 million will be taken from available cash. The budget will be voted on at Town Meeting, which begins Monday.

“Town meeting members will be voting on a balanced budget,” said deputy director Chris Ketchen. “We were able to cut the deficit in half and will cover the remaining deficit with free cash.”

The announcement puts to rest months of speculation that the budget would not be ready for town meeting. As recently as this week, when the town’s advisory committee issued its town meeting report, the budget remained unbalanced, with a gap of $2,064,974.

“We reduced the number by going back to all the departments and asking them to make cuts,” Ketchen said. “For instance, we are using some money from the building department permit revolving fund, and have made some cuts to the DPW’s budget for street resurfacing.”

Larsen added that the town’s natural resources commission has elected not to add a part-time position, and that the school’s projections for electricity costs have been revised down. A small increase to the budget came from a revised estimate of the costs to upgrade the HVAC system at Town Hall.

The budget was finalized Friday morning.

Town meeting members will also vote whether to receive a new town wide financial plan, which will contain a series of recommendations from the Board of Selectmen on future budget cycles. The plan warns that the town could need an override to address a projected budget shortfall of $5.4 million in fiscal year 2013.

“This year’s town meeting will only be voting to acknowledge receipt of the plan,” Ketchen said. “No town meeting can take a vote that could bind a future town meeting.”

In addition, numerous other articles are contained on the town meeting warrant. Some of the articles include special capital projects like the Fuller Brook Park project, a new floor for the Central Fire Station, and a new office building for the Department of Public Works.

Other articles address designating Brookside Road, which abuts the Wellesley Country Club, as a scenic road, as well as accepting a landlocked parcel at 27R Kenilworth Rd. as a gift to the town and creating a tree preservation bylaw.

The warrant includes one citizen petition, which would examine the tax exempt status of the Wellesley Country Club; however, its sponsor has decided not to move forward.

Ketchen said he expects the town meeting to last at least three weeks.

“Obviously, I think we’d all like to see it done sooner, but there’s so much ground here to cover,” Ketchen said. “I can’t imagine that it would be fewer than six sessions to get it all done.”



Single-Family House Sales: Greater Boston

The closings that occur in January and February of each year generally reflect under agreements from the fourth quarter of the previous year. 2011 seems to have come out of the gate strong in terms of single-family home sales over $1 million, but the impact of the severe weather in January and February is not yet reflected in the data. Last month 45 single-family homes conveyed in Eastern Massachusetts (excluding the Cape and Islands and towns west of Worcester County) priced over $1 million and this was 3 fewer than the same month last year — a 6% decline. The market for million dollar homes is still in recovery, but we remains unclear if we will achieve the peak levels of a few years ago.

On a year-to-date basis for the year 2011, 16 more single-family homes have sold over $1 million than the same two months of 2010, for an increase of 14.2%. Last year, the market absorbed 113 million dollar homes between January and February; the comparable number in 2011 is 129 (and only 77 in 2009).

As sellers contemplate putting their luxury homes on the market this spring, they need to be aware of the imbalance between supply and demand (much more supply than demand) and the skittishness of potential buyers at the high end of the market.

The $2,000,000 to $2,999,999 price segment is also recovering, but it is a much more thinly-traded market than many sellers realize. Sales in this price band account for only 19 of 129 million dollar plus properties conveyed. This is under 15% of the entire million dollar market!

On a year-to-date basis, 6 more single-family homes have sold between $2,000,000 and $2,999,999 than the same two months of 2010, for an increase of almost 36%.

Single-Family House Sales: Statewide

While 46 towns are represented in the 142 closed sales over $1 million statewide for the first two months of 2011, the data are skewed towards the more popular communities. The top 5 towns (Newton, Wellesley, Boston, Brookline, and Barnstable) account for 42% of the closed million dollar sales. As was true last year — with the exception of Barnstable on the Cape — there is a heavy concentration of sales in this price range in the towns with the closest proximity to the City of Boston.

Some other statistics for this market segment:

— The average price for a single-family sold over $1 million so far in 2011 is $1,700,139

— The average house in this price range had 10 rooms and approximately 5 bedrooms

— On average, these houses sold at 91.68% of their original listing price — underscoring yet again the importance of accurate pricing in today’s market. Listings priced too far over market value are not selling.

For the state as a whole, million dollar single-family sales in the first two months of 2011 exceeded the same period of last year by 17.4%. Interestingly, the top 10 towns for million dollar sales were up 42% during the same period. With the exception of Cambridge and Cohasset, 8 of the top 10 towns were either flat or up.

Condominium Sales: Statewide

8 cities and towns are represented in the 51 condo sales for the first two months of 2011, but Boston alone accounts for 76.4% of the closed million dollar condo sales.

Some other statistics for this market segment:

— The average price for a condo sold over $1 million in calendar 2010 was $1,821,652. (Interestingly, this is higher than the average sales price for a single-family home in the same time period: $1,700,139.)

— The average condo in this price range had 6 rooms and approximately 3 bedrooms

— On average, these condos sold at 95.58% of their original listing price — underscoring yet again the importance of accurate pricing in today’s market. Condos priced over the market simply aren’t selling.

Comparative data for the first 2 months of 2011 versus 2010 are somewhat deceptive because of sales at 400 Stuart Street (The Clarendon), Boston. In the first 2 months of 2010, in the first wave of occupancy, 11 units closed at the building versus 2 in the same period of 2011.

Posted March 2, 2011 ~ New Wellesley Single Family listings during the last week!

Click here to view the new Wellesley listings during the last week!

New Wellesley House and Condo listings during the last week!

Click here to view the new listings for the last week in Wellesley

Why buy a home? Does it make sense to buy a home?

If you’re like most first-time home buyers, you’ve probably listened to friends’, family’s and coworkers’ advice, many of whom are encouraging you to buy a home. However, you may still wonder if buying a home is the right thing to do. Relax. Having reservations is normal. The more you know about why you should buy a home, the less scary the entire process will appear to you. Here are eight good reasons why you should buy a home.
Pride of Ownership

Pride of ownership is the number one reason why people yearn to own their home. It means you can paint the walls any color you desire, turn up the volume on your CD player, attach permanent fixtures and decorate your home according to your own taste. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It’s making an investment in your future.

Although real estate moves in cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down, over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight tracks the movements of single family home values across the country. Its House Price Index breaks down the changes by region and metropolitan area. Many people view their home investment as a hedge against inflation.
Mortgage Interest Deductions

Home ownership is a superb tax shelter and our tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component of your mortgage payment.
Property Tax Deductions

IRS Publication 530 contains tax information for first-time home buyers. Real estate property taxes paid for a first home and a vacation home are fully deductible for income tax purposes. In California, the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 established the amount of assessed value after property changes hands and limited property tax increases to 2% per year or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Capital Gain Exclusion

As long as you have lived in your home for two of the past five years, you can exclude up to $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple of profit from capital gains. You do not have to buy a replacement home or move up. There is no age restriction, and the “over-55” rule does not apply. You can exclude the above thresholds from taxes every 24 months, which means you could sell every two years and pocket your profit–subject to limitation–free from taxation.
Preferential Tax Treatment

If you receive more profit than the allowable exclusion upon sale of your home, that profit will be considered a capital asset as long as you owned your home for more than one year. Capital assets receive preferential tax treatment.
Morgage Reduction Builds Equity

Each month, part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your loan, which reduces your obligation. The way amortization works, the principal portion of your principal and interest payment increases slightly every month. It is lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment. On average, each $100,000 of a mortgage will reduce in balance the first year by about $500 in principal, bringing that balance at the end of your first 12 months to $99,500.
Equity Loans

Consumers who carry credit card balances cannot deduct the interest paid, which can cost as much as 18% to 22%. Equity loan interest is often much less and it is deductible. For many home owners, it makes sense to pay off this kind of debt with a home equity loan. Consumers can borrow against a home’s equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, college, medical or starting a new business. Some state laws restrict home equity loans.