Local Experts Comment JP Real Estate Market

The Jamaica Plain Fall market is off to a good start. Fall buyers have always had the luxury of being more selective  than the Spring buyers.  It tends to be a short selling season, going into the holidays, but if it priced correctly it is selling. It is still a seller’s market, inventory is still tight, especially single family homes. Slight changes we see in the Fall market are buyers not waiving inspections unlike the Spring frenzy. Students are back and Boston is moving forward with more construction for Scientific buildings. Jamaica Plain, as usual, is a great place to live and purchase real estate.  – Colleen Scanlan, McCormack & Scanlan Real Estate

The present demand for housing here in Boston and the Northeast is creating big competition in rentals, with high prices and lack of supply. After September, we enter the Fall cycle where apartments at this time of year continue to be competitive and owners are seeking tenants with stability in income and good credit in order to afford these higher rents. It does not help that property taxes and insurance costs have hit investor 2-to-6-unit buildings every single year. Whatever happened to assessments based on a budget? Now it’s a market driven calculation! – Faye Simon, Faye Simon Real Estate

As we all have heard, the real estate market has been on fire this past year, even with the spectre of COVID hanging over all of us. Most of the rhythm  and price points was attributed to historically low inventory.  However, some of the madness had been driven by the sight of long lines outside of open houses, which lent an air of urgency to buyers. This being said, the lines were a bit misleading, because all of those people used to be INSIDE the properties at the same time, rather than with controlled small groups of open house visitors (due to COVID restrictions and protocol). Attendance in general was pretty typical as far as numbers were concerned. One of the biggest changes overall is how buyers have been impacted. Buyers have been up against nearly impossible competition if the buyer did not have cash rather than a mortgage in order to by a home. Most sales were being conducted with NO contingencies at all  for sellers to satisfy. Lots of buyers ended up dropping out of the market to wait till things calm down a bit. Buyers would be well served to cast a wider net in their search, and in doing so will find that within our Greater Boston area there are many attractive neighborhoods to discover within a relatively small radius. Boston is a fast growing city, and being familiar with more of what the different areas offer will be key for buyers moving forward. – Joseph Fallon, ERA Real Estate

The spring of 2021 market was very strong for condos, single family, and multi family homes. Overall the market got slower, but this especially affected condos. I and others were hoping the fall market would be more robust, so far the condo market remains softer than it had been previously in 2021 and in past years. More condos have been coming on every week, and it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough buyers out there to keep up with the pace of the new condo listings. This is a significant change from past months and years. Again, this has also affected the single family and multi-family market, but not as much. –  Ken Sazama, Compass, Sazama Real Estate

The JP market has been fueled by the high demand and extreme low inventory that began in March 2020. Covid lockdowns inspired a sea change across the board. Homeowners took early retirement and moved to their second homes which created a flurry of inventory. And buyers sought bigger and better yards and gardens to be outdoors with their families to socialize while social distancing. The need for larger indoor spaces to work at home was a major factor in this most recent boom. 

   This past spring the demand continued, far outpacing the supply which resulted in record-setting over asking price sales and presenting a challenge for buyers and their agents attempting to find them a new home. At the end of September, we are still on the cusp of the fall market so we’re not entirely sure how it will play out after the vigorous spring but inventory is still a problem in all  price ranges especially the high end. An August snap shot showed the number of single families properties on the market down 17% in August.

   There are new indicators that could signal a slow down based on additional August numbers: sale prices are down this month by 5% price per square foot is down 2%. Condominiums stayed on the market 29 days in August, up 38%.  Buyers for certain are weary from the extreme competition, with dozens of offers on a single property and leery of the exorbitant prices over asking. And many sellers are still sitting tight as they have since the beginning of last spring. 

   So while we are still in a wait and see, the picture could be changing slightly. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for buyers? A lot of it will depend on how much the inventory increases. Good news for Sellers? Prices are still robust. – Constance Cervone, Coldwell Banker

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