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Know Your Market | Arlington MA Real Estate Market Statistics | July 2014

In an effort to provide the most insight and information to our clients, followers and colleagues we, at The Madden Team, provide weekly and monthly market statistics pertaining to certain local markets. We provide Watertown, Waltham, Belmont and Arlington statistics monthly and each town is provided in a separate week.

This week we’ll be looking at the year-to-date real estate market statistics for Arlington, Massachusetts comparing the same time period (January 1st – July 21st) of 2014 and 2013. We separate the three distinct segments of the market: single family homes, condominium homes and multi-family homes. Please read below for our analysis of the statistics and what that means for you as either a buyer or seller in this market.

Real Estate Market Statistics | Arlington MA | The Madden Team of CENTURY 21 Commonwealth

In reviewing these statistics for the Arlington MA Real Estate Market there are some obvious great signs showing a solid foundation for real estate in Arlington over the past two years.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

Most of the news these days has revolved around a shortage of inventory compared to past years, but as you can see we have increased levels of inventory for Arlington MA single family homes compared to last year at this time. The market has stayed strong with properties selling at 103% of the original list price on average when looking at the 138 sales registered thus far on the MLS this year. The 138 sales is up 10 (128) from last year at this time, which is a small increase. However, the biggest increases come in the shape of appreciation with both average sales price and median sales price. The average sales price is up $80,902 compared to the year-to-date in 2013 and the median sales price is up $77,000 compared to last year.

CONDOMINIUM HOMES

Similarly, condominiums homes have seen great increases in average sales price and median sales price. The average sales price has risen $79,200 and the median sales price has increased $67,500. Once again, the original price to sales price ratio is encouraging for home sellers as it sits currently at 102%. The condominium market has a few signs of not holding quite as strong as the single family market, however. Inventory levels are about even with last year (29 active listings currently vs 32 at this time last year) and we have seen a large decrease in the number of condominium sales year-to-date compared to 2013′s year-to-date. We’ve had 111 total condominium sales in Arlington this year compared to 149 through July 21st of 2013. This decrease may be reflective of the lower inventory as it seems, based on the market data, that well-priced and marketed condominiums are selling quickly (35 days market time) and often at above ask price (102% of original price to sales price).

MULTI-FAMILY HOMES

The smallest market sector in Arlington is the multi-family market, based solely on units sold. Currently there are 7 active listings in Arlington compared to only 1 at this time last year. Year-to-date the multi-familiy homes in Arlington have sold at 104% of their original price. However, there have only been 16 multi-family sales in 2014 compared to 25 during the same time period in 2013. The good news is, though, that there has been appreciation in both the average sales price and median sales price. The average sales price has appreciated by $35,535 and the median sales price has appreciated by $40,100.

Know Your Market | Watertown MA Real Estate Market Statistics | June 2014

In an effort to provide the most insight and information to your clients, followers and colleagues we, at The Madden Team, provide weekly and monthly market statistics pertaining to certain local markets. We provide Watertown, Waltham, Belmont and Newton statistics monthly and each town is provided in a separate week.

This week we’ll be looking at the year-to-date real estate market statistics for Watertown, Massachusetts. We separate the three distinct segments of the market: single family homes, condominium homes and multi-family homes. Please read below for our analysis of the statistics and what that means for you as either a buyer or seller in this market.

Watertown MA Real Estate Market Statistics | The Madden Team of CENTURY 21 Commonwealth | June 2014In reviewing these statistics for the Watertown MA Real Estate Market there are some obvious great signs but also some hidden intrigue.

Across the board we are seeing appreciation in both average sales prices and median sales prices with condominiums seeing the largest average gain ( + $71,012) and single families seeing the largest median price gains (+ $74,000). In 2014, condominium home sales have been selling on average for 100% of their original list price.

With the average listing price of active multi-families sitting over $230,000 higher than last year at this time, I fear that these prices (in that market sector) will not be able to support themselves for too much longer. Also, the multi-family market is the only market sector where there are currently more active listings (8) than there were at this time last year (3).

Therefore, Watertown MA multi-family homes are worthy of a look but need to be looked at with a discerning eye. If I was a multi-family seller, I would try to list as soon as possible to maximize your selling potential.

Did we mention that rates just hit their lowest point of the year?

Primary Mortgage Market Survey

Know Your Market | Watertown MA Real Estate Market Statistics | May 2014

In an effort to provide the most insight and information to your clients, followers and colleagues we, at The Madden Team, provide weekly and monthly market statistics pertaining to certain local markets. We provide Watertown, Waltham, Belmont and Newton statistics monthly and each town is provided in a separate week.

This week we’ll be looking at the year-to-date real estate market statistics for Watertown, Massachusetts. We separate the three distinct segments of the market: single family homes, condominium homes and multi-family homes. Please read below for our analysis of the statistics and what that means for you as either a buyer or seller in this market.

In looking at these statistics there are some factors that are obvious to all: Prices Have Appreciated in All the Sectors of the Market!

This is a great news for home sellers looking to maximize the value of their home or recoup some of what they purchased for at the height of the market. This should not deter the buyers out there though either because of the current mortgage rates. While they are not as exciting at the 3.5% we had seen a year ago, we are still seeing fantastic mortgage rates in the mid 4′s currently. Comparing this to the height of the market which for some was around 2006 (so we’ll look at May 2006), we were seeing interest rates of 6.6% which is nearly 2% higher than the current rates which means there is still a lot more affordability in this market than in markets past.


In looking at the historical mortgate rates through Freddie Mac since 1971, we can see that we are still at the low end of the mortgage rate spectrum. While prices have risen, the rates have kept buying an option for so many well-qualified buyers.

What? My Appraisal Came Back Low? Am I Stuck Buying This Home?

Lately, with the change in the market we’ve been noticing a few appraisals having been coming in slightly below the agreed to purchase price. First…. Breathe… there are options and you are protected.

Our team has encountered this issue before and we will encounter it again. If a buyer’s appraisal comes in low there are many options, but here are a few of the main ones:

  1. Negotiate the Purchase Price with the Seller(s)
    1. The sellers are not obligated to alter the purchase price, but you are always allowed to request a change to the price
  2. Manage the Gap
    1. If there is a small gap between the appraisal amount and the agreed to purchase price, you as the buyer may opt to bring the cash to make up that gap to closing
  3. Rescind Your Offer and Request Your Deposit Money Back

Wait… Is Option 3 REALLY An Option If We Did Not Put A Specific Appraisal Clause Within the Offer?

 

In every sense of the word…. YES!!!!

 

We’ve had this argument, on our buyer clients’ behalf with many attorneys lately because a buyer is protected via the Mortgage Contingency which includes the appraisal. When a buyer submits a mortgage application and signs that application there are very specific terms within that application that must be met in order to receive the mortgage.

A Uniform Residential Loan Application is used by all the lenders that our team knows and utilizes. Within this application, which is signed by the buyer there are many terms that are specific to the under agreement property, the buyers purchasing the home and terms of the mortgage. These “details” are what allow a buyer to rescind their offer should an appraisal come in low and a seller opts to not adjust the price.

Many of the lines within these details will change, should the appraisal come in low. As an example, if the purchase price is $400,000 and you are receiving 80% financing ($320,000) you would be paying $80,000 as a down payment. Should an appraisal on this example property come in at $375,000 (and there is not adjustment to price) there would be at least three changes of the detail line items: m. Loan Amount, o. Loan Amount, p. Cash from/to Borrower — As an application, this is deemed to have been satisfactory in your efforts to obtain a mortgage with only ONE application so you can request to have the lender send you a letter of rejection based on your mortgage application.

**Banks will try to be helpful and keep the deal together but you are not obligated to keep the deal together if the terms of the mortgage that you applied for have changed**

 

*** To best protect yourself, when receiving your preapproval from your lender – ask them specifically about the appraisal. Ask the lender if an appraisal comes in low will you be required to come up with extra funds to close on the property or will their mortgage application safeguard you, as their customer, from having to proceed with the purchase if you should choose that option***

Know Your Market: Watertown MA Real Estate Market Statistics – March 2014

In an effort to provide the most insight and information to your clients, followers and colleagues we, at The Madden Team, provide weekly and monthly market statistics pertaining to certain local markets. We provide Watertown, Waltham, Belmont and Newton statistics monthly and each town is provided in a separate week.

This week we will be looking at the Watertown MA Real Estate Market Statistics and comparing them to the same time period (January 1st – March 3rd) of last year, 2013. There are some great signs of appreciation for homeowners along with some words of caution that we’ll discuss below.

Click Here for the PDF: SYMK Watertown – All Housing Types – March 3, 2014

As you can see, appreciation levels of 33%, 29% and 13% are great for our home owners and sellers out there. The median home values are even showing strong appreciation levels too. We are seeing roughly the same inventory as last year across all the sectors of the market, with the single family market lagging the furthest behind.

Our words of caution for sellers is that, your home may have appreciated but the levels we are seeing here are not typical. Our market analysis and absorption rate analysis help us to give sellers a realistic expectation of their property appreciation (or depreciation) with the goal of obtaining top dollar for our clients.

With inventory levels being low, it is a great opportunity to enter the marketplace because there is pent up buyer demand just waiting for new listings to hit the market.