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Metrowest Housing Inventory….a look back.

Our brokerage put out a blog last week It’s Official! Inventory of Homes is Higher where it looks at our 5 office locations and inventory change year on year. We thought, with our sales being strongly based in Metrowest it was worth a deeper look into our wheelhouse.

It is a well known fact that listing in the winter will get you the most money for your home. This is based on the simple facts of supply and demand. In winter, with inventory at its lowest points the demand is much greater than the supply. While this year is no different, what we have found is the inventory is higher than it was last year at this time. But, it will be relative, it will still be the lowest point of 2019. Late summer 2018 we noticed signs may be pointing in this direction, and now it has officially happened. The graph below shows the point where inventory made its official turn. Year on year across the state we are seeing an 18% increase. Here in Metrowest we are seeing a little bit of both!

Now here comes the interesting part….most of the state has seen a a solid increase. Out of our 5 other office locations the only one with lower inventory was Worcester. Yet, as I mentioned above, in Metrowest we are seeing a little of both!

In general the 10 towns that make up Metrowest Boston saw a 16.7% increase. Coming in the highest inventory percent change was Natick at 43.9%! They were closely followed by Wayland & Sudbury at 40% and 37.7% respectively. Framingham was next up with a 31% change year on year trailed by Southborough at 20% increase and Westborough at 17%.

And this is where we see a change with the last 4. These are all seeing lower inventory, some substantially so! Ashland is down 34% from 2018 and Holliston at 19% followed by Hopkinton down 5.9% and Sherborn down almost a percent which is relatively equivocal.

So what does this all mean?

Most importantly sellers need to be more diligent than ever about pricing their homes. Notice nothing in this blog says that home prices were effected, this is about the inventory of homes. Home prices should remain steady IF a home enters the market at the correct price. There are many varying strategies on pricing. From under-pricing, to pricing based on bracketing and some people base on simply what they want to get for the price of their home. The bottom line is the best way to price a home is based on specific and ultra current comps (within 3-6 months closed). This is the same process that an appraiser will do when they justify the price for the bank and it is the same process that buyer’s agents will do while justifying the price for their buyer to feel comfortable making an offer.

Buyers can look forward to a lot of the same… unpredictable market. In some of these markets we are seeing lower inventory than last year and in others we are seeing significant increases. If you ask my opinion I think all areas will level off by the fall each showing inventory increase year on year. For now, buyers should be psyched to see higher inventory in some of the areas, but generally they should not let their guard down. While inventory may be up, the number of buyers will also be up and it will be a competitive game. Last year we saw inventory creeping up but as soon as it did buyers would gobble up the homes. Likely this will be more of the same this year. You should always be coached by a successful buyer’s agent who has dedicated themselves to knowing your specific market, whether or not it their geographic stronghold. Someone who has a tried and true track record of offer acceptance, and who will help you truly understand what a fair market price is for a home even when it means potentially going over the ask price.

Lastly-what I hear several times a month from curious people and clients-is the bubble going to burst?! We aren’t in a bubble. This isn’t 08/09. That was really more of a mortgage crisis turned into housing crisis. With the new mortgage guidelines in place to prohibit loose lending, we should be safeguarded from EVER seeing those extreme days, thankfully! What it means is we are headed into a balanced market. And a balanced market is good for all of us!

Specific questions about your town? Give us a shout! We are happy to talk about your game plan for buying or selling your home.

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