As spring is upon us, the real estate market in Jamaica Plain is as strong as ever, with a lot of demand from buyers and a higher value for most properties.
Karen McCormack, real estate agent at McCormack & Scanlan Real Estate, specializes in residential sales. She told the Gazette that this past winter buyers were finding it hard to secure a property quickly or easily. “This usually means, and it definitely means now, that it’s a seller’s market, still,” she said.
In the past couple weeks, five to ten properties were listed per week, but they are receiving multiple offers going over offer price, according to McCormack.
Josh Brett, real estate agent at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, also specializes in residential sales. Brett said that the market is currently “active and fast-paced. Prepared sellers and prepared buyers are selling and buying properties with ease very quickly. Preparation is first step, especially as a buyer.”
Preparation might mean expectation setting, such as finding out what it takes to get an offer accepted in the market, as well as considering timelines and what actions to follow an accepted offer, according to Brett.
“It can be more competitive as a buyer than as a seller,” Brett said. He said that prices have increased dramatically over his career, and have been increasing steadily over the past six to nine months.
As for luxury sales, Brett said that those properties are less competitive than the bulk of the market, but that that trend may be changing.
“What we’re seeing is that the price points (for buyers) are shifting upwards, so what was considered a price point for the upper end luxury, might now be considered an upper-middle end price point,” said Brett. He explained that the buyers aren’t necessarily changing, but that they are more willing to spend more money than they were in the past.
Of luxury housing, McCormack says “there are definitely properties that are sitting, but that’s probably four out of 50. Most of them are moving, even higher priced condos.”
McCormack said that condos used to go for around $400 per square foot, but now, if they’re “decent,” agents and sellers are pushing them for up to $500 per square foot, and have been occasionally closing at those prices. McCormack said that the average price per square foot for sales in JP is $437.
McCormack speculates that there are a few forces in JP that are making it so attractive to buyers, those being the proximity to the medical area, downtown Boston, public transit, and the diversity in population.
“We do think at some point that we are going to see buyers sit back and not pay this much, so there will be a shift at some point,” McCormack said, but she can’t speculate on a specific time. She said she thinks the balance between buyers and sellers will even out now that there are more properties being built and put on the market, but she couldn’t speculate definitively about when that could be.
Regardless of the luxury development and renovation boom, Brett says that the most competitive price points are under $400,000.
In the week of March 9 through March 16, the most expensive property closed was a multifamily at 76 Wenham Street for $899,000. The least expensive property closed on was a condominium at 70 Jamaicaway for $330,000.