Looking to buy a single family home in Brookline? You will likely need a few things: a good broker, quick instincts, and at least $ 1 million in funding.
According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, 136 single-family home sales closed in the city in 2020. Only 11 of these homes were sold for less than $ 1 million, according to the MLS Property Information Network for Massachusetts. The average sales price for properties under $ 1 million was $ 942,518 – about $ 50,000 above the average list price.
Recently, a cutthroat market has emerged in the greater Boston area due to the low housing stock and high buyer demand. For already competitive markets like Brookline, however, these trends have only underscored the existing market conditions.
“It was a little crazy”
“There has always been a shortage of inventory compared to Brookline demand,” said Sean Preston, a Brookline-based broker at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty.
But the most recent stories of heated bidding wars and lightning-fast closings mostly take place elsewhere.
“A lot of these things happen in neighborhoods that haven’t really been revitalized or really – I always use a term with my clients – haven’t” emerged “,” Preston said, citing communities like these as Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Dedham and Medford.
Preston said the surge in buyer interest could be due to potential buyers using the pandemic as an opportunity to save, or being drawn to lower interest rates or looking for more space after months of working from home.
“That could be part of why … some of these bidding wars were so brutal,” he said.
“After a year of being locked up, living and working in the same small space, it explains some of the weirdnesses there was when people gossiped more money on places and went way beyond reasonable prices to get that particular place for them Land, “said Preston.” It was a little crazy. “
“It’s more like a seller’s market than ever before.”
Brookline’s home construction has long been a priority, according to Chobee Hoy, who has more than 40 years of experience in the Brookline real estate market and now heads the Chobee Hoy Group at Compass.
Hoy attributed the demand for housing to the numerous amenities and the location, location, and location of the city.
“I live in Brookline and it’s a wonderful city because we have schools and libraries and it’s so close to public transport and parks. It is a particularly blessed city with its characteristics, ”she said. “And some of it was just luck; Here it is right next to Boston. “
It’s far from a dead market: the number of pending sales has increased recently as the market hits its seasonal spring peak, according to Hoy.
“The property is going on the market and there are a number of offers coming up,” she said. “So when the seller has this magical kind of property that suits the buyer – yes, I think it’s a seller’s market like never before.”
If they enjoy doing this, buyers can set themselves apart from the competition with “cleaner” deals – deals that are free from clauses like mortgage quota or home inspections, Hoy explained.
But she added, “They won’t be the only one reducing the number of contingent liabilities they put on their offering.”
Low inventory is a nationwide problem
In Brookline and beyond, it is uncertain how long the residential property market can keep pace with demand as the state faces a worsening property shortage that affects both buyers and sellers.
In a recent telephone interview, Massachusetts Association of Realtors President Steve Medeiros said the state’s inventory shortage has been long-standing.
“What we saw was a K-shaped recovery,” Medeiros stated over the months after the pandemic shut down. “The people who were not directly affected by COVID – these people felt confident; the people who were directly affected had to back off a little and reassess.”
The “monthly inventory supply” of a real estate market is a measure of supply and demand that indicates how many months it will take the current properties on the market to sell with a monthly sales volume.
Anything that delivers inventory for more than six months is considered a buyer’s market, Medeiros explained. Everything below that benefits the seller – to a certain extent.
“When we had the recession [in 2010]Real estate production dropped significantly and we never had enough production to come back up and get us where we needed to be, “Medeiros said.
In the midst of the 2010 real estate collapse, Massachusetts’ monthly inventory was 7.1. In 2015 it fell to 4.4 months.
After Medeiros started a two-month supply in early 2020, it reported an existing supply of 0.7 months for the entire state in early 2021.
“That means, if there is no other inventory, we are running low [of housing supply] in about three weeks – now it’s nationwide, in some municipalities it’s less than 0.7, ”said Medeiros.
According to Preston, Brookline’s monthly inventory was 2.1 months as of March 2021. Brookline kicked into 2021 for about a month, climbing to 4.5 months in February.
At the same time, the median sales price for single-family homes in Brookline rose 13.8% in 2020 from 2019 to $ 2,205,000, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
For comparison, according to Preston MLS data, the average price of single-family homes in Brookline was $ 1.9 million between 2016 and 2021. In those five years, there were only 23 single family home listings for less than $ 800,000.
All that shit
While Brookline isn’t affordable for many people, “the value is absolutely there,” Preston said.
Based in Brookline himself, he pointed out the public school system, bustling business districts and the steady increase in property values.
“It’s a good long-term investment. If you are looking to add value to your fortune, Brookline is absolutely one of the better places to look, ”said Preston. “If you’re into all that shit … I don’t know a lot of other places that are way better than Brookline.”
Typically every January, he checks how many single-family homes were on the market for less than a million. The number is getting smaller every year.
“Everyone would love to have a home for less than a million dollars,” he admitted. “But there isn’t much of that.”