(Cross-posted from Diana's blog of all things Weston at greatestate.com)
After 2009, the Weston real estate market had to improve. As of Jan. 2, 2011 there are 64 Single Family properties listed for sale in Weston up from 57 at the same time last year. As we go into 2011 the over $2M dollar market is showing signs of life. In the last 60 days of 2010, 3 properties in this price range (also interesting deals based on number of days on market) went under-agreement; 149 Meadowbrook Rd, originally listed for $3,275,000 in October of 2009, 100 Summer St. originally listed for $4,650,000 in September of 2006, and 77 Love Lane originally listed for $4,995,000 in May of 2006. All three of these went under-agreement with significant discounting off of their original list prices.
A lot of what makes Weston’s market unique is what happens with houses over $2 million in value. In looking at Sold properties over $2M during the past three years for 1/1/2010 -1/1/2011 in MLS there were 20 single families sold with an average list price of $2.8M, and average sale price of $2.6M with average days on market 289. For 1/1/2009- 1/1/2010 in MLS, there were 15 single families sold and average list price $3.0M, and average sale price $2.7M with average days on market 259. For 1/1/2008-1/1/2009 in MLS there were 19 single families sold and average list price $3.4M, and average sale price $3.2M with average days on market 272. In summary there was a drop in each list price and sale price average over the past three years of $600,000.
High profile foreclosures have for the most part subsided. In my report from last year the outcome of 30 Old Rd. was still uncertain, originally listed for $6,350,000 on 12/22/06 after exactly 4 years on the market, and a foreclosure, it sold for $2,725,000 on 12/21/10. 300 Glen Rd. was also sold after going into foreclosure originally listed on 6/6/07 for $5,999,000 sold or $3,430,000 on 5/15/10. Both 300 Glen Rd. and 30 Old Rd. could be considered the poster children of the nations high end housing crisis in Weston.
In addition to the two new construction foreclosures, Weston also saw discounting off of original list price of new construction become standard in 2010. 24 Country Dr. originally listed for $3,995,000 on 5/30/08 sold for $3,390,000 on 6/2/10 after 572 days on market. 17 Holly Circle listed for $3,999,000 on 11/1/08 sold for $3,637,000 on 5/28/10 after 528 days on market, 30 Bradford Rd. originally listed for $2,750,000 sold for $2,325,000 after 458 days on market, and 200 Concord Rd. originally listed for $3,625,000, sold for $2,500,000 after 501 days on market.
To note, 2010 has seen the birth of the ultra high end in Weston with 5 Willow, 63 Winsor, 75 Doublet Hill, and 15 Claridge Dr. all listed north of $12 million. Sellers can list properties at any price they wish but the buyers determine the market. So when 75 Doublet Hill actually went under agreement this fall it was the dawning of a new age for Weston.
I expect a better 2011 spring market than 2010, fueled by generous bonus activity, increasing interest rates, and more buyers moving into Weston from all over the world “for the schools” as indicated by the increased activity in the over $2M market. Since much of the new construction existing inventory was sold and there is limited new construction inventory coming on the market this spring there could be a spurring of demand, possibly benefiting the newly built resale and new construction market by reducing the level of discounting we saw in 2010.
Buyers are coming to Weston for the schools and with the internet showing the facts about test scores and college placement, savvy buyers from all over the world have been coming to buy in Weston “for the schools”. The property owners of Weston have been wise to prioritize our schools even in difficult fiscal times. The international market can read about our proposed new $12 million dollar state-of-the-art Science Facility at the high school, and our proposed new Field School for 4th and 5th grades and many curriculum enhancements such as Chinese language offerings for our younger youngsters. In this global world of information it is no longer only the familiar suburban town names like Wellesley and Newton that attract global buyers looking for the finest in public school options for their children… the word is getting out that Weston is THE TOWN to watch, providing a small town, centralized school system that stacks up to the best in the country and the finest in Massachusetts.