Wellesley Real Estate Update – as of 9/21/11

If you, or someone you know, is considering buying or selling real estate in Wellesley, MA – here is some useful information about the current housing market:

Number of properties currently on the market in Wellesley:
Single Family: 168 Properties
Multi Family: 3 Properties
Land: 7 Properties

Number of new Wellesley Real Estate listings in the last month:
Single Family: 43 Properties
Multi Family: 1 Property
Land: 1 Property

Average list price for Real Estate in Wellesley over the last 6 months:
Single Family: $1,482,534
Multi Family: $1,124,333
Land: $619,967

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July Existing Home Sales Statistics:

Existing home sales report for July were released today. Regionally sales in the Northeast and the Midwest were up, and in the West and the South they were down. Sales increased by 2.7% to a rate of 750,000 units, a 19% increase from last year while the Midwest increased by 1%, to a pace of 1.05 million, 31.1% higher than July 2010.
The South existing home sales declined by 1.6% to a rate of 1.84 million in July but remain 19.5% above sales in July 2010. Sales in the West are down 12.6% to an annual pace of 1.04 million in July, which is 6.9% higher than a year ago.

The median sales price for all existing home was $174,000, down 4.4% from last year. Approximately 29% of all sales in July were of distressed homes either from foreclosure sales, real estate owned by lenders, or short sales compared to 30% from last month and 32% from a year earlier.

First time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales, up 1% point since June with repeat buyers accounting for 50%, and 18% for investment properties.

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.

Commuting to Boston from Wellesley or Metro West

One of the biggest factors to consider for a buyers looking to purchase in Wellesley, or Metro West, is what their commute into Boston will be like.

I have had many clients make the transition from city living to buying in the suburbs west of Boston. For those that want to drive into the city, I can tell you that during the Labor Day-Memorial Day months, you need to get through the Weston Tolls (inbound) by 6:45 to avoid tapping the brakes most of the way into the city. If you are on the pike after 7:15, you are most likely going to have a bumper to bumper – slow ride in (approximately 30 minutes to get to the Brighton tolls (where a big back up will await you for getting into Cambridge). Driving the Back Bay will offer much less resistance.

Wellesley and Metro West Train Schedule