Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends and people you would not otherwise notice. Follow him on Twitter and check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.
It's Q4. And while Q4 is packed with holidays, let's not forget that it's also chock-full of home sales. Nearly 1,000 Boston condos went under agreement during the fourth quarter of 2013, and sometimes holidays and sales were linked—like last Halloween when 12 Boston condos went under agreement, what a treat. And, on Thanksgiving 2013, two Boston condos sellers gave thanks as they signed offers with one hand and presumably held drumsticks with the other. Also, while you might have missed the real estate door-buster last Black Friday, four Boston condo buyers didn't; they put condos under agreement that day.
Even on the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… three Boston condo sellers could be heard countersigning offers. At least that's what the MLS data shows. Then, on Christmas itself, one Boston condo seller got a present they may not soon forget. It wasn't an ugly sweater or something to be re-gifted, it was an acceptable sales price, so they wrapped up the paperwork and went on their merry way.
Will Q4 bring joy to Boston-area real estaters in 2014. Why not? There are plenty of reasons to buy this Q4. Interest rates are low; and, for many, new babies and new jobs crank up the home-buying motivation. And let's not forget that what we often want most in a new year is positive change. Hey, what's more positive change than a new home? In the last week of 2013, a week where almost nothing of consequence happens for most, 45 Boston condo buyers put units under agreement, guaranteeing their new year would start off on the right foot.
Today's buyers, who for one reason or another missed the spring market, will note that more Boston condos were available for sale on Oct. 1 than were available for sale on April 1. Additionally, it is highly likely that there will be more Boston condos available on Nov. 1 than were available on May 1. So, if you like selection, put on your condo-buying shoes. Of course, while buyers note more selection, they'll also note fewer competitors as it's traditionally a slower time of the sales year—even more reason to buy in Q4 2014.
While there are many reasons to buy this Q4, it would be an injustice not to point out that it can be a great time to sell as well. Last year, 865 Boston condo sellers listed their homes for sale in Q4. And, although Q4 is not known for its buyer quantity, it might be remembered for its buyer quality. That's because the median list price of a Boston condo that went under agreement in December 2013 was $449,000. Heck, the median list price of a Boston condo that went under agreement in April 2013 was only $429,900. Can there be any doubt that holiday décor and wishes for joy, peace and goodwill toward all adds to home values?
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]