By Judy Boyle
One of the most common questions Real Estate Agents are asked is “How’s the market?” Just like every professional is supposed to have an elevator speech prepared in case someone asks what they do, Real Estate Agents have thirty seconds to show that they are the local market expert. So when I sat down to write this article, I thought about what my response would be today. And if I’m being completely honest, I would need a lot more than thirty seconds to sum it up.
With all the conflicting news reports and market information available online, consumers are understandably confused about whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. The short answer is, with an average of five months’ worth of inventory available in Central Massachusetts, it is technically a seller’s market. This is determined by calculating what is known in the industry as the absorption rate. Six months of inventory would be considered a ‘balanced’ market. Anything over six months would indicate it is a buyer’s market. What is important to note, however, is that 90% of the existing inventory is over $500,000 with an average days on market of sixty-seven.
To further complicate matters, the shortage of inventory (remember the 10% noted above) for the entry-level or downsizing buyer is clogging up the market. A large majority of these buyers have a limited budget. They are trying to take advantage of the historically low mortgage interest rates before they climb steadily throughout 2020 as unanimously predicted by industry experts such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Furthermore, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index reports that the prices of homes will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year, possibly more in Central Mass. This means that a property valued at $450,000 today could cost almost $500 more per month by the end of 2020.
So what does all this mean? In my best professional opinion, I think it is abundantly clear that it is a seller’s market for homes priced below $500,000 and it is a buyer’s market for homes above that amount.
So, in an effort to unclog the market I am making three suggestions:
- If you currently own a home with a fair market value of $500,000 or less, it just might be time to upgrade. The demand in this category is high. And with the right professional team in place, the process is a breeze.
- Millennials, the 25% of Americans between the ages of 23 and 38, might just want to move out of their parents’ homes and invest in one of their own. According to a recent Gallup poll, Real Estate will provide the highest return on your investment, beating out stocks, savings and gold.
- Renters: You are already paying a mortgage; it is just someone else’s. Talk to a mortgage lender to see if you qualify. You just might be surprised.
Boyle lives in Northborough where she is also a Chapter Leader of the Neighbor Brigade, a non-profit organization that assists families in times of crisis. She has been a Real Estate Agent since 2003 and consistently wins awards and accolades for excellence in customer service and sales volume, culminating with her recent induction into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.
Her mission is to empower her clients to make smarter decisions through data-driven insights and local market knowledge. She invites you to follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/judyboylerealtor, call or email her for the WINTER 2019/2020 Home Buyer and/or Seller Guides or for a FREE market analysis.
Proudly serving the Borough’s and Beyond with honesty and integrity since 2003