Monthly Archives: January 2015

3 Crescent Hill Ave, Arlington – Sold for 22% Over Asking


3 Crescent Hill Ave, Arlington just closed. The home has been recently refurbished, priced at $599,000 this 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home and located steps from the historic Mt Gilboa area on a dead end street! The sale price was $732,000 that’s 22% over the asking price. It seems that the high demand for homes in Arlington that we saw in early 2014 is continuing into 2015. Here’s the data for the last 12 months – the orange line is the ratio between list and sales price (a value of 100% means it sold for asking). The ratio often exceeded 100% in 2014 – expect the same for 2015 as demand exceeds supply in this very popular town.

This high ratio is (of course) driving up prices as buyers compete for homes:

A wealth of information about Arlington as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Winchester Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Winchester real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Winchester as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Concord Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Concord real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Concord as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership

2015 Sellers Seminars

Unlocking the Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership. Join the MA Properties Online team for this FREE seminar where prospective home sellers will learn how market forces affect sale price and how effective strategies can maximize sale price.

Like anything else, success is in the preparation. Its never too soon to find out how to best spend money on your home to maximize its sale price. What brings value when you sell your home is often counter-intuitive.

Before you spend money on your home, learn which home improvements will bring the best returns.

This seminar will help increase the value of one of your largest investments…your home.

The seminars will be held between 6:30pm and 8:00pm at 13 Depot Square, Lexington.

Pizza and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by reply email.

Wednesday January 21
Wednesday February 25
Wednesday March 25
Wednesday April 29
Wednesday June 3

Please RSVP to Dani Fleming Email or phone her on (617) 997-9145.

Lexington – 6th Richest Small City in America

As well as having a great school district, short commute to Boston and a vibrant town center its seems that Lexington is the 6th richest small city in America – at least according to Movoto an on-line real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. They produce a series of Top Ten lists that aren’t the usual boring ones (median income, most expensive house price etc).

Here’s the list of richest small cities:

Rank City
1 Bethesda, MD
2 Palo Alto, CA
3 McLean, VA
4 Redondo Beach, CA
5 Menlo Park, CA
6 Lexington, MA
7 Brentwood, TN
8 Foster City, CA
9 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
10 Laguna Niguel, CA
10 Hoboken, NJ

How did they come up with this ranking. First they ranked places with a population between 30,000 and 90,000 on two categories: median household income and median home value. Next they ranked the cities based on:

  • Really expensive fine dining establishments per capita
  • Really expensive clothing retailers per capita
  • Really expensive jewellery stores per capita
  • Luxury car dealers per capita
  • Country clubs per capita
  • Cosmetic surgeons per capita
  • Distance to nearest polo field
  • Distance to nearest yacht club
  • Distance to nearest private airport

After they had done the math Lexington came 6th!

The details can be found at These Are The 10 Richest Small Cities In America.

All good fun – but if you’re interested in real estate data on over 40 towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) this can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Bedford Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Bedford real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Bedford as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Belmont Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Belmont real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Belmont as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Heating Fuels Price Comparison

As winter approaches home owners naturally think about what the costs will be to heat their homes. This is also on buyers minds as they look at prospective homes – the number one question realtors get asked when a home is heated with fuel oil is “is there gas on the street?” Hard numbers on heating fuel prices are readily available but a detailed comparison is harder to come by. As the MA Properties Online team takes a ‘data driven approach’ to real estate this newsletter will do the comparison for you.

Heating Fuels

Homes in Massachusetts are heated with a number of fuels so we’ll focus on the main ones: natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, propane and wood pellets. The latest pricing data is available on the Energy and Environmental Affairs section of the mass.gov website. For electricity and natural gas costs we used the latest prices for NSTAR (electricity) and National Grid (natural gas).

Here are the prices for November 2014:

Fuel Type Fuel Price Fuel Unit Notes
Natural Gas $1.03 Therm Supply + delivery charges
Wood Pellets $318.5 Ton Average for premium and super premium pellets
Fuel Oil $3.33 Gallon  
Propane $3.13 Gallon  
Electricity 17.8 cents KWh Generation + delivery charges

Cost Comparison

The costs comparison converts all costs to $/BTU and factors in an efficiency rating for various heating appliances. The calculations to do this came from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). As you look at this data remember that your fuel prices may differ from the prices listed above (perhaps because you pre-ordered fuel oil) and the efficiency of your heat appliance may be different (in general, more modern appliances will have a higher efficiency). The EIA estimates that the average usage in MA is 109 million BTU (this is for a 2,076 sqft single family home – so your usage may differ if your home is significantly larger or smaller than this).

Fuel Type Fuel Price Fuel Unit Heating Appliance Type Approx. Efficiency Fuel Cost / Million BTU Average Fuel Costs MA
Natural Gas $1.03 Therm Furnace or Boiler 82% $12.54 $1,366.59
      Room Heater (Vented) 65% $15.82 $1,724.01
      Room Heater (Unvented) 100% $10.28 $1,120.60
Wood Pellets $318.5 Ton Room Heater 78% $24.75 $2,697.47
Fuel Oil $3.33 Gallon Furnace or Boiler 78% $30.78 $3,355.29
Propane $3.13 Gallon Furnace or Boiler 78% $43.94 $4,789.02
Electricity $17.8 cents KWh Furnace or Boiler 98% $53.23 $5,802.45
      Baseboard/Room Heater 100% $52.17 $5,686.40

If we show this graphically (using the furnace/boiler data) we see the clear advantage of natural gas over all the other fuel types.

More details of this can be found in the Newsletter Heating Fuels Price Comparison.

A wealth of information for over 40 towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Arlington Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Arlington real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Arlington as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website http://www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Lexington Statistics – 2014 Overview

The current months statistics for the Lexington real estate market are shown below.

Inventory Levels

If an inventory level graph shows seasonal fluctuations then we know that the market is ‘healthy’ and showing normal activity. If seasonal fluctuations are not obvious then what we are seeing is an ‘unhealthy’ market where foreclosures and short sales have cluttered and hidden the normal trends of the market. Price trends can be learnt from inventory level data – in a ‘healthy’ market with demand greater than supply, prices tend to move up. In an ‘unhealthy’ market where supply far outstrips demand then the trend on prices is down. This follows the normal Supply and Demand market dynamics.

Absorption Rates

Absorption rates can be described as the number of months needed to sell the available inventory at the rate of sales experienced in the previous 12 months IF no additional properties were listing during that time.

So, given the ‘normal’ rate of sales that have occurred over the previous 12 months, and given the number of homes on the market currently, how many months it would take to sell everything that is currently available is known as the absorption rate. We generally say that anything below 7 months supply is ‘healthy’. The absorption rate can be a general rate for a town, for instance, for all single family homes in that town, or it can be more specific and related to price ranges.

Sold/Original Price Ratios

By reviewing the sold to original list price ratio you can get a very good understanding of the health of the real estate market in a town, and the cyclical nature of sales in the town. The number of homes sold, along with the average percentage of the original list price to sales price data, gives you a snapshot over the last 12 months of important data related to the real estate market in a town. It is important to note that the reported data is approximately 6-8 weeks behind the actual event of the home going under agreement.

Historic Homes Prices

The blue bars represent the average price in the year referenced, the green bars reflect the average home price for each month of the current year. When reviewing this data it is important to note the impact that the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit had on the data for 2009 and 2010. In towns where the average home price is significantly more than the approximate home price of a first time home buyer then the impact is quite marked due to the increase in First Time Home Buyer activity, whereas in towns where the average home sale price is close to that of the approximate price of a home for a First time Home Buyer we don’t see too much of an impact that the increase in home sales due to First Time Home Buyers has had to the overall average for the town.

Homes Sales

A wealth of information about Lexington as well as over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website http://www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.