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Boston Real Estate Blog

From Boston Metro Real Estate Broker, Bill Patterson

By Bill Patterson | Broker in Boston, MA

Maybe "The New Spring"... Is Winter

At this time last year, the 'spring market' was already underway, even though there was hardly a condo, single or multi on the market to be bought. What it was, was very interesting.... and it seems to be happening again.

Inventory is awful, ask around or look at the numbers yourself (I won't bore you with them) and you will see what I am talking about. There seems to be one, maybe two possible matches for every buyer that I am currently working with. Oh sure, if you went through my database you would see more than that but I'm talking about places those buyers might acutally buy. This is not the norm. Typically, I could point out 5-10 places that I could see that buyer going for - not today though. One, maybe two matches for the buyer on today's marketplace. Wow, pretty tough. Right? A new low perhaps? How about this; This is exactly what last year looked like only the prices are higher.

Last year was a near record breaking year in the city for condo sales in terms of price and number of condos sold. The year 2012 also had one of the lowest inventories of condos in recent memory. Scarcity, my college economics professor once said, is a powerful market manipulator. He was, and of course is, correct. But what is also correct is that our economy is continuing to grow (Boston led, USA followed). More, the population of Boston seems to be growing. Baby boomers are coming in droves to city condos (check the 5:00 dinner scene). The tech boom, pharma boom and baby boom are all blowing up our shining city on a hill. Side note - The shining city on a hill really is Boston, look it up - it was in a Governor John Winthrop speech. A bit before modern presidential nominees time. So, to sum up:

Scarcity + Baby Boomers + Tech Boomers + Pharma Boomers + a growing economy = Price hike.

Oh yeah, you can divide all of that by this..... we have no land here. We have to go up.

And up is exactly where Boston is going.

Look around the city and what do you see? Cranes, lots of 'em. They are in every borough and not going away. While these intrepid builders are planning on a payday, be assured their units will not be ready for occupancy until 2015 and beyond. What does this mean? Prices are going to go up even more. Mark my words.

Today, we again have little inventory and the market is going like crazy. So far this winter, the weather has done little to slow down any buyers. They are out there, hitting the open houses and plunking down the money. It's really something to watch. Of course, there are still plenty of sellers that just cannot sell (always will be) but these people do not define the marketplace. The majority of homes that are hitting the market today are gone tomorrow. Chances are, gone tomorrow with 3-5 bidders too. 

Did I mention that it's winter? Sure feels like spring to me.
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