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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Real Estate statistics for 2014 are in, and the results were very surprising to both economists and real estate agents alike. Statewide, sales in December of 2014 were up significantly over 2013, an increase of almost 50%, from 2104 to 3078. Interestingly, December sales were actually up over November, which is very unusual, some would say almost unprecedented. While some seasonality is common, we often see a sharp spike in November, and then a drop in December, before the January sales start to roll in. January, thus far, has been somewhat of a mixed bag, and is making me whether we are heading for another inventory shortage. We have seen a sharp spike in Buyer interest over the last week, yet we are not seeing nearly enough Sellers coming to the marketplace. Hopefully, rolling out the Homeowners Blend Program, (which provides for a reduction of up to 50% in real estate fees,) will help spike the inventory back to normal levels. More on that down below. In may not change the world, but at least that has the potential of making you a few thousand extra dollars, which will always come in handy.
While sales volume is one thing, sales prices are another, and most people are understandably curious as to where we are in terms of valuations. I’ve compiled a few graphs for you to illustrate that. Those show the median sales price in Shrewsbury, Westboro, and Marlboro, going back for over a decade. The data that they show is both interesting, as well as a tad inconsistent, from town to town. As you will see, Shrewsbury is hitting all time record high median prices, whereas Westboro is up, but nowhere near the peak, and Marlboro has dropped. It’s important to note, however, that this is not a reflection on any one home, but is often skewed by small changes in the market, such as an abundance of higher end properties that just happen to sell during that quarter.
Here in the trenches of the Worcester County real estate market, many in the real estate industry are taking a wait and see approach. At a recent lunch I organized with some of the top agents in the region, people are wondering whether 2013and 2014 was merely a blip in the market, caused by years of Buyers holding off, and exacerbated by low inventory – or whether it represents a true healing and return to a normal balanced market. Only time will tell.
According to MAR President Peter Ruffini, the challenge still remains a critical lack of inventory. That’s why now, more than ever, we need those home sellers who really have wanted to move for a while to reach out, and provide the “supply” to go along with the “demand.” As I mentioned above, each winter I open up 10 spots in January and 10 in February for my “Homeowners Blend Program.” Now in its 20th year, this has been a fantastic opportunity for Sellers to save up to 50% on the real estate fees when selling their home, WITHOUT having to give up a thing in return. I do have a few of those left for January, so if you’re reading this, and would like one of the slots, email me at email@example.com and I will save you one.
Why do many homes on the market never sell?
Oh getting back to the Free Report, we come to one of my favorite topics, namely the Expired Listing Market. Each year, in late December, early January, I look back at the year in review, and go through all the homes in the region that sold, as well as those that failed to sell, and try and see if there is any commonality that would explain why some sell and others don’t. In the end, there often are a few critical issues that would have made a huge difference.
This isn’t a small issue, by any means. In fact, last year alone, nearly 12,000 properties in Worcester and Middlesex County that were on the market, came off without selling, which represents almost 40% of the total listings taken by agents. In contrast, I think I had two such listings all year, and in both cases, it came down simply to Sellers that were just unrealistic on price. After seeing just how serious the issue was, and knowing that it wasn’t happening to me, I sat down for an entire day and put together a five page report that details the Top 10 Reasons Home’s in Massachusetts Failed to Sell. This isn’t some “canned report” purchased online, but really represents the core experience of having done this over 2000 times, and all that I learned through trial and error along the way. I even took the time to incorporate items specific to selling issues in a particular town or area, creating unique reports for those communities as needed.
Of course, this report won’t be of use, ONLY to those who had been trying to sell before – although they will no doubt have some eye-opening moments reading it. Rather it applies to ANYONE thinking of moving at all. After all, what better way to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes, than to read about what happened to others? If you’re interested in reading it, along with a separate page of helpful tips and the final 2014 statistics, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and the city you live in, and it will email you back automatically with a copy of the report for your individual community.
To see what homes are currently for sale, just click HERE, and you can do a full search of the entire MLS database.
Until then, keep warm, and go Patriots.
Steve Levine, President
Steve Levine, Inc.
RE/MAX Professional Associates
#1 REMAX Agent in New England – 10 Years
Phone: 508 735-4663