We are thrilled to announce our new website at Beachfront Realty. Take a look by clicking anywhere on the image below. We have a terrific new search function that is easy and smooth. If you want to stay on top of what’s for sale go to register/login on the top right of the site! Properties for sale that fit your criteria will be emailed to you daily. Enjoy!
My good friend, excellent agent and blogger Briggs Johnson at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage hits it squarely on the mark with this post which illustrates the decrease in inventory year over year and its potential effect on the market. I have posted it in its entirety below. Visit his blog.
“The Caravan Indicator”
There are several indicators and indexes that people follow to determine market conditions. The indicator I am going to use that sparked this blog entry is going to called the “Caravan Indicator”. What many people don’t know is that behind the scenes here at Coldwell Banker (downtown), every few weeks, we hire a bus to drive us all around town to check out new listings in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, South Boston and the Seaport District etc. Its a great way for us to view new inventory and for us to be knowledgeable of the market in all price points. Today, is caravan day and it was cancelled due to lack of inventory…..Wait, What?! I can understand there being a cancelled caravan in late fall or August when everyone is on vacation, but not now, not September, not in the second week of the second strongest time of year to get new inventory. Really?
I was ready to bounce around the city and view some properties, but, since that wasn’t happening, I did some research to see how limited inventory really is. I went on MLS and looked up current inventory, the amount of listings currently under agreement and the amount of listings that have been sold in the past 2 months. The numbers don’t lie and I found them pretty shocking. Since I really only focus on the downtown neighborhoods. I used the 4 neighborhoods i do a lot of business in . Here are the Stats:
Neighborhood # of Listings # Under Agreement # Sold in last 2 months
Back Bay 104 57 124
South End 78 57 110
Beacon Hill 59 14 41
Seaport District 16 7 23
Last Year (2011) # of Listings % Decrease from 2011
Back Bay 213 52%
South End 183 58%
Beacon Hill 82 28%
Seaport District 37 57%
The way I look at this information is that it is a great time to sell and list a property. There are a ton of buyers out there and they are in desperate need of decent inventory. On the flip side, If you are a buyer looking in these neighborhoods, be prepared to be frustrated and be ready to enter a multiple offer situation (if you are a serious buyer looking in a popular area). In the South End alone there have been 24 places go under agreement in the past 2 weeks. If you are a buyer looking in the South End under $450k. there are only 9 places on the market and only 3 of them are north of Washington Street. If you are a buyer looking in the 800-1 million range in the Back Bay, there are only 11 listings on the market. Six of those listings have been on the market for over 100 days, so quality is as compromised as quantity right now. If you are a Beacon Hill buyer looking from 600-900k there are only 3 listings on the market. 2 of those listings have been on the market for over 170 days. Brutal!!
I can understand that sellers are hesitant to list because there isn’t much to move into if they sell and want to stay in downtown Boston. But if you are a possible seller looking to move out of state or to the “burbs” this could be an ideal time to make the jump.
I know all downtown agents are saying “list your property now” but hopefully some of this data, makes you think about the scenario with a different tone. Have hope and don’t be afraid to enter the market, just be informed and realistic.
Happy Hunting and Start Listing!!
The $1M and above market in Provincetown has been relatively active this season. The above $1M price range is from $1M to a high of $4.75M. Of the 136 properties (single family, Multi-family and condos) that have sold YTD in 2012, 8 have sold above $1M, and they were all single family properties. These 8 property sales equals 5% of total unit sales year to date.
There are 218 properties (singles, multis, and condos) for sale in Provincetown of which 55 are priced above $1M, which represents 25% of the total.
5% of sales, 25% of the available properties for sale… it is crowded! For buyers in this price range there are plenty of properties to look at for price and amenity comparison. Currently there are 5 properties under contract with asking prices above $1M. I will profile these once they close.
Below are descriptions of the properties that have sold over $1M year to date. Once again a caveat. I took the descriptions straight from MLS, so errors in syntax and grammar are out of my hands.
67 Bayberry Ave, a contemporary home, impeccably maintained, this home is bright and airy, white washed in a soft colors, and is ideal for entertaining with an open plan along with 3 bedrooms. Enter through glass doors to a spacious living room with fireplace, a kitchen & separate dining room that comfortably seats 10. The living room has two sets of atrium doors leading to a covered deck and large terrace. The kitchen has custom cabinetry, and limestone counter tops. There is a guest room with deck on this level with full bath. Next level has an open den, and mb suite with separate bedroom and sitting room with fireplace, bath and deck. The 3rd bedroom is on this level with another bath. Up one more level is an intimate sun room with 3 decks.
510 Commercial Street is a lovely single family home with water views. The 1st floor has a spacious living room with fireplace, generously sized dining room, recently renovated kitchen, laundry area and full bath. There is also an adjoining one bedroom, one bath apartment with exclusive outdoor space, perfect for guests. Upstairs there are two master bedrooms with ensuite baths, one of which has direct water views. A second guest room with water views and full bath complete this level. The home is well set back from Commercial St allowing for a spacious front yard and privately situated side yard with patio. Driveway parking for 3 cars in tandem.
3 Atlantic Ave. Very few people have enjoyed the pleasure of owning this West End historic home. One of Provincetown’s oldest homes, dating back to the 1700’s, this A+ quality recent restoration makes this pristine home an exceptionally rare opportunity. The original architectural details have been painstakingly preserved side-by-side with the highest quality contemporary fixtures, appliances, systems, windows, doors, and more. The value is further magnified by both the central location-steps from the beach-and the generous enclosed yard space for parking, entertaining and gardening. The current owners have taken extreme care to bring this three-quarter Cape style home into the 21st century with a great deal of love and attention.
19 Berry Lane. Steps from the Beach and Views from Every Room! Here is Your Opportunity to Own a Custom Built Provincetown Home in the Quiet East End. From the Moment you enter the Foyer you will feel a sense of peace and serenity. The Living Room has Custom Stained Glass Windows from an old N.H. Church (easily removed, decorative only), hardwood floors and balcony access. The 2 Story Family Room offers a solid wall of windows, designed to maximize the expansive views,Brick fireplace with Bluestone Hearth and accent wall. Watch the Harbor lights from the Dining Room. Entertaining is a breeze in this Spacious, light filled Kitchen! Upstairs you’ll find the Owner’s Suite with Spa Quality Bathroom and the Guest Wing with 2 Bedrooms with views. Full Daylight BSMT also w/ views, 2 car garage.
9 West Vine Street. Completely renovated 5 bedroom 4 bath home located in the heart of the West End. There is a spacious living room, dining area and kitchen on the first floor which opens to a blue stone patio and fenced in yard. The kitchen features a large center island, granite countertops, a farm sink & marble backsplash. There is a master bedroom suite with a private tiled bath and separate entrance, a second bedroom and tiled bath on the first floor. The second floor features a second living or family room with gas fireplace, in addition to an office, three more bedrooms. Stained pine & fir flooring in all living areas, Laundry room, ample closet space, an unfinished attic, outdoor shower, & 2 car parking.
525 Commercial Street. Funky East End bay front home with multiple personalities. The original structure appears to be a marine related or mercantile structure dating from pre-1800 and is now known as the Not So Great Room with soaring 2 story ceiling and original folk art found object installation by Jackson Lambert. A 20th century addition is a large sunken living room with brick fireplace, wood floors and bay windows facing Commercial St and the bay. The most recent custodians of this gem added a contemporary solarium and deck on the bay and updated the kitchen and second floor bath a few years ago. Estate sale. Offers are subject to estate obtaining a license to sell from probate court. Town sewer outstanding betterment of only $2,295.41, to follow deed
107 Commercial Street. There are only 15 single family waterfront homes in the west end – not since 2004 has one come to the market below $2M. Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase the perfect beach house in the perfect location that usually exists in dreams. This charming 3-BD, 2-BA waterfront home enjoys great privacy and spectacular views. 1st floor has an open floor plan, exposed beams, wood-burning stove and fireplace (not in working order), with sliders leading to front and side yards and large waterfront deck with steps to the beach. Also on this level are a full bath and laundry. The 2nd level has 2 waterfront bedrooms with sliders to a common deck with ladder to rooftop deck. There is also a 3rd BD and BA on this level. 3-car parking, Sewer Connection.
6 Winston Ave. Spectacular Waterfront Home with breathtaking views of Cape Cod Bay from almost every room. Talk about inspiration and beauty! There are 4 bedrooms in this magnificent home with the master on the second floor, gas fireplace, dazzling views of the water, a large elegant master bath, and a door leading to your private deck overlooking the water. Another bedroom shares those same views and deck, along with a full bathroom that separates the second and third bedrooms upstairs. First floor is full of light with a virtual wall of sliders that open to an expansive deck for your sunny enjoyment and relaxation. A large stunning kitchen with Granite counter tops, a first floor bedroom or office and a new artist studio with more gorgeous views of the water. Offered at $2,350,000.
This is an interesting blend of East End, West End, and downtown properties. My favorites are 3 Atlantic as it is in the near east end on Atlantic and Commercial and just smack in the middle of things on one of the most special streets in town. 107 Commercial is a favorite as it is one of those special properties right around the bend from the Coast Guard Station in the west end that is the epitome of casual downtown beachfront living… everyone who walks by it says…”I wish I owned that house.”
*Data is for single families, multi families and condos only sold from 1/1/12 to 8/31/12. There are some additional properties for sale in Provincetown like hotel/motels, and commercial properties which I do not generally include in my analysis of residential sales. All data from Cape Cod and Islands MLS.
I am thrilled to be here at Beachfront Realty in Provincetown – a great, truly local real estate company with broker owner Bob O’Malley and my associate Bill Farmer. We have had an exciting spring/summer season and are looking forward to experiencing the serious fall selling season.
I will post on all things real estate. Architecture and design, market trends and market drivers, the ever changing and always challenging movements in the Provincetown and Outer Cape, Boston and South Florida markets, markets that are related in many ways. This unique forum will enable us to talk about everything related to real estate.
My blog will feature regular postings from me and from a range of other professional contributors within the industry. It will also include occasional posts from knowledgeable guest contributors across other market areas. Ultimately, my blog will focus on timely and provocative real estate articles of interest and, I will look to all of you for new ideas and opinions that will keep the postings fresh, raise thought-provoking ideas and deliver entertaining stories that will challenge all of us to keep the dynamic real estate conversation going.
Scott at Boston.com comes up withe some great posts and I have posted another one below. Scott talks about a Redfin survey that finds only 46% of buyers surveyed think it is a good time for house hunting. This is apparent as well in all anecdotal information from the field specifically in downtown Boston. The issue remains lack of good available inventory and the impact that this will have in the “nascent real estate recovery. Jon
So says Redfin in a troubling new survey of buyers in 19 major metro markets across the country, including Boston.
Fewer than half the buyers out there – 46 percent – actually believe it is a good time to be house hunting, according to the online brokerage firm.
That’s a big shift from the first quarter, when hopes for deals and bargains was much higher among buyers as the spring sales season approached. Back then, 56 percent said it was good time to buy, Redfin notes.
However, probably the most dramatic change is in buyers’ expectations of where home prices are headed. The number of buyers who believe home prices are headed up has nearly doubled, to 61 percent from 32 percent in the first quarter.
So what’s made home buyers so glum?
Well bidding wars haven’t helped, with seven out of 10 buyers reporting they had encountered multiple bids on at least one offer, according to Redfin.
In fact, 31 percent of those surveyed said they would back off if confronted with another bidding war, up from 28 percent this spring.
Of course, at the root of the problem is a falling supply of homes for sale, a phenomenon that has endangered the nascent real estate recovery both here in Greater Boston and across the country.
Fewer choices have meant more bidding wars, rising prices and increasingly grumpy buyers. (The Redfin survey is based on the responses of 829 buyers during the week of Aug. 16-22.)
And the stumbling economy – and all those storm clouds over Europe’s rickety banking system – hasn’t helped cheer buyers up either.
The percentage of buyers worried about the economy rose to 27 percent from 20
percent in the first quarter.
We’ll just have to wait and see what the fall selling season brings, I guess.
Great article in the WSJ. Nick Timiraos does a great job in putting things in perspective.
By Nick Timiraos of The Wall Street Journal
In each of the last three years, home prices have increased in the spring and summer, when more people are buying homes, before giving back all of those gains and then some in the fall and winter, when activity cools.
But it is beginning to look like that might not happen this year, absent a major stumble for the economy.
Home prices in July were up by 3.8% from one year ago, the largest year-over-year jump in six years. Moreover, prices have shot up by 9.6% from February, when they registered their lowest levels of the housing downturn, according to CoreLogic CLGX +0.40% data released Tuesday.
This adds evidence to the case that U.S. home prices may have hit bottom earlier this year. Even though prices will soften in the autumn, “we have a much better supply and demand dynamic” than in previous years, said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic.
So when people say they believe home prices haven’t reached a bottom—that this year’s seasonal gains will be wiped away by January or February of next year—here’s the relevant question: Will home prices fall by 9.6% in the next six months?
Anything, of course, is possible. Home prices fell in the winter—what Mr. Fleming calls the “offseason”—in each of the last three years to record a new low. But they have not fallen by 9.6% in any six-month span since March 2009, which was when the U.S. economy was still in recession.
That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: While the year-over-year comparisons look good right now, the economy—and workers’ wages—aren’t growing fast enough to justify this kind of increase on a sustained basis.
Instead, the snapback in home prices in the last six months is more an indication of how prices “over-shot” over the past year. Investors, sensing deals, began buying up homes. The most likely scenario for home prices over the next year is that they may rise, but not at the breakneck pace of the past few months (and they’ll fall on a relative basis in the coming months due to normal seasonal factors).
There are other serious headwinds. It’s still hard to get a mortgage, and many households have too much debt. Millions of homeowners owe more than their homes are worth. Millions more have enough equity to sell their house but not enough to make a down payment on their next house and pay a real-estate broker’s commission.
As we’ve written many times before, the strong rise in home prices this year owes as much to sharp declines in inventory as it does to demand-side improvement. Banks have been much slower to take back and list foreclosed properties, easing pressure on home prices but leaving a bloated “shadow inventory” of potential foreclosures.
These homes will weigh on markets for years, though there’s less evidence that they will be dumped on the market at once. While the shadow inventory may not lead to a big drop in prices that some have feared, it will probably keep a lid on future home-price gains.
Finally, lower mortgage rates have dramatically increased the purchasing power of today’s home buyers when compared to one year ago. Some real-estate executives are nervous that demand isn’t stronger given today’s low mortgage rates, and they’re worried about what will happen if rates rise.
The bottom line: Don’t be surprised if the all-time low in home prices is in the rearview mirror. But this doesn’t mean a full-on recovery is here, and there’s little evidence that the current pace of improvement can continue. For now, home prices appear to be bumping along a bottom.
Follow Nick @NickTimiraos
We recently had a closing where the buyers had always owned single family homes and never a condominium, so didn’t have any idea of how Condo Associations worked. So…an HOA (home owners association) primer follows. Yes, condo documents are boring, association meeting notes are boring, budgets are boring… but get to know your new new homeowners association! Don’t be surprised by assessments, crazy leadership, unreasonable rules..get to know your HOA and then work with your HOA to make your property a better investment. Below is a great post from Inman News.
Here are a few guidelines for buyers-to-be and new owners of condos and other properties in HOAs:
1. Read the HOA disclosures — thoroughly. When you get into contract on a home that is located within an HOA, you receive a bulky stack of documentation about the association. It can be a mind-numbing, eye-twitch-inducing pile of bank account statements, historical documents and legalese. However, these materials are uber-important, as they provide the details and contours of this new business and interpersonal relationship you are about to embark on with your neighbors.
Things like the HOA’s plans for ongoing maintenance and upgrades, the HOA budget, the cash they have in reserve — all these things have the potential to impact your household budget.
For example, if the building needs a new roof and there’s not enough cash to cover the costs, most HOAs have the power to levy a special assessment on each owner for their share of the cost! The fact that you own your place means you also own some share of the responsibility for the building. That’s what owning in an HOA is all about.
Additionally, as you’ve learned the hard way, there are loads of HOA guidelines that may impact your lifestyle and your plans for your home. I have received dozens and dozens of notes over the years from condo owners like yourself protesting HOA restrictions on everything from parking to pet size and even flooring material and paint colors! Yes, the place belongs to you, but when you buy into a condo you opt into following the guidelines the HOA has in place for ensuring every owner can enjoy their home and all can live in peace.
I suspect the fee of concern to you covers the management company’s processing of your plans for modifying your home to ensure their compliance with HOA and other guidelines.
The ideal here is to read these documents thoroughly as part of your decision-making about whether to buy the property while you still have time to back out of the transaction if you don’t want to be bound by the HOA’s strictures.
2. Read more casual HOA member documents. Along with the formal HOA disclosures, condo buyers often receive a set of more casual documents, including a copy of the building rules and regulations, and the community newsletters. In my experience, these documents can actually be even more telling than the formal ones in terms of previewing for you the daily experience of living in the community. Yes, you’re likely to see a fair amount of minutiae, like recipes and block party announcements.
But you’re also likely to see things like board meeting agendas with line items like discussions of whether to raise the HOA dues, and conversations about any concerning, large repairs that might need doing. If you haven’t read these documents yet, you should now, to prevent further nasty or costly surprises.
In the same vein, I encourage condo buyers and new owners to talk with the building manager about common complaints and community issues (including fee increases) that are on the horizon, as well as connecting with other homeowners in the building or complex about their experience and any surprise costs or unpleasant rules they have encountered.
3. Participate in your HOA. Read the agendas of your HOA’s board meetings before they happen, attend the meetings and even participate on your board if possible. HOA boards ultimately have the power to impose dues increases, select the accounting and insurance vendors whose work and fees are so critical to the costs of living in the community, and select the contractors who do major building and community upgrades and repairs.
If you have a very strong issue with fees or rules that are currently governing your experience as a homeowner, the best way to address them is to become a vocal, active participant in your HOA board.
August in Provincetown….what a month of gorgeous weather… tons of fun, and great real estate activity. You have read posts of mine speaking to the positive energy around real estate in Provincetown. It continues!
163 Bradford Street sold for $220K, and is in the near East End of Provincetown. This bright, updated and spacious first floor condominium offers a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a second full guest bathroom. Comes with a deeded tandem parking space. Custom built- ins and electric fireplace.
57 Pleasant Street sold for $379K, and is in the neighborhood that we live in…and it is… a charming West End location, beautiful and spacious grounds and in a neighborhood of newly constructed properties. There is a large and lush fenced, exclusive backyard and patio area, as well as a good sized exclusive flagstone patio in front. There are two bedrooms, one with a sliding door that leads onto a small deck and the back lawn. The sunny living room has a gas fireplace and the galley kitchen is fully applianced with a gas stove, dishwasher and stacked washer/dryer and a door that leads out to the back. There are oak floors throughout .
11 Conant is in the near West End on a quiet side street and sold for $400K. a 2-bedroom, 1-bath penthouse is in meticulous condition with granite counter tops and kitchen island, stainless steel appliances and tiled bath and shower with glass block. Lots of charm in this renovated unit blending the old and the new with bead board walls and hand painted floors. Close to the gym and the Boatslip on a popular side street. 2-Car tandem parking, air conditioning, washer/dryer, exclusive patio plus lovely spacious common area to the side of the house.
5 Cottage is in the West End and sold for $479K. This very large one bedroom home is in a picture perfect West End location with views of Cape Cod Bay from the deck and living area! The home is completely renovated with every modern convenience and beautiful pine floors throughout. The kitchen features stainless appliances, granite counter-tops and opens to a large dining area and living room with wood stove, skylights and cathedral ceiling. There is direct access through sliders to the exclusive use mahogany deck, private yard with views of the harbor and an outdoor shower! The large bedroom has wall air conditioning, a private entrance and a tiled master bath with an over-sized shower and laundry. This turnkey home is a perfect second home and has a very strong rental history!
19 Creek Road is in the West End close to Victors restaurant and sold for $595K. This tri-level condo has two master bedroom en-suites, with additional half bath. This three unit association is currently being constructed with all the newest hurricane-force code requirements, and a fire sprinkler system. Painted clapboard and stained shingles, Anderson true-divided light windows, old brick patios and sidewalks, mahogany decks and a fully landscaped site will create an inviting exterior for each townhouse (+/- 1,174 sq.ft.). Careful attention has also been provided to the interior custom finishes and features, including oak floors, tile/stone bathrooms, crown moulding, 5-panel doors and choice kitchen cabinets and appliances and bathroom fixtures.
Six single family properties closed in August with an average sale price of $992K and of an average size of 1,562 square feet. Some of them are highlighted below. Currently there are 69 single family properties on the market with an average asking price of $1.501M.
6 Duncan Lane is down a sweet gravel lane in the East End of town and sold for $795K. This gorgeous single family home provides tranquil & private refuge, yet less than a mile to the center of town, & a little over 1 block to the beach. Built in 2009 this light-filled home features expansive sunny open plan living, with hard wood floors, gas stove & a stunning wood panel ceiling. The kitchen has recycled quartz counter tops & stainless appliances. A sliding door onto a large deck with outside shower. Den/guest bedroom & full bathroom, with subway tiled tub/shower, granite-topped vanity. The 2nd floor has cathedral ceilings, and is used as an office includes a master suite with a large en suite bathroom.
9 Arch Street is in the near East End between Bradford and Commercial near the library and sold for $800K. Renovated home located on a quiet, narrow street, 1/2 block to Commercial st. Enter the home through a secluded garden into open mud room . The first floor open plan has a spacious kitchen with center island and breakfast bar, and custom cabinetry. The dining area leads to a spacious living room with fireplace with imported tile surround. Ceilings are open beamed with original wood. Full bath with marble flooring and shower room with imported glass tile. The second floor has the 3 bedrooms with lots of light and peaks of the bay! The master has built-in cabinetry. The third bedroom serves as an office.
9 West Vine is between tremont St and Commercial in the near West End of town and sold for $1.2M. Completely renovated 5 bedroom 4 bath home located in the heart of the West End. There is a spacious living room, dining area and kitchen on the first floor which opens to a blue stone patio and fenced in yard. The kitchen features a large center island, Jenn-Air stainless appliances, granite counter-tops, a farm sink & marble back-splash. There is a master bedroom suite with a private tiled bath and separate entrance, as well as, a second bedroom and tiled bath on the first floor. The second floor features a second living or family room with gas fireplace, in addition to an office, three more bedrooms.
525 Commercial Street sold for $1.25M and was marketed and sold by our office. It is a Funky East End bay front home with multiple personalities. The original structure appears to be a marine related or mercantile structure dating from pre 1800 and is now known as the Not So Great Room with soaring 2 story ceiling and original folk art found object installation by Jackson Lambert. A 20th century addition is a large sunken living room with brick fireplace, wood floors and bay windows facing Commercial St and the bay. The most recent custodians of this gem added a contemporary solarium and deck on the bay and updated the kitchen and second floor bath a few years ago.
107 Commercial Street sold for $1.6M. There are only 15 single family waterfront homes in the west end – not since 2004 has one come to the market below $2M. The perfect beach house in the perfect location that usually exists in dreams. This charming 3-BD, 2-BA waterfront home enjoys great privacy and spectacular views. 1st floor has an open floor plan, exposed beams, wood-burning stove and fireplace (not in working order), with sliders leading to front and side yards and large waterfront deck with steps to the beach. Also on this level are a full bath and laundry. The 2nd level has 2 waterfront bedrooms with sliders to a common deck with ladder to rooftop deck. There is also a 3rd BD and BA on this level.
The properties illustrated above are all interesting in their own right. As a whole they illustrate the wide and attractive diversity of property for sale in town. My next property post will be a review of $1M properties sold and available for sale in town.