Boston’s Property Market Pulse:
Deciphering the Latter Half of 2023
Stepping into the world of the property market is akin to stepping into a rhythm. The beats of buying and selling, supply and demand form the underlying tempo.
Boston, a town rich in history and character, is no exception. As we venture into the last quarter of 2023, it’s crucial to understand the current property market’s tempo and how it might influence your property decisions.
A Refresher on Market Dynamics
For the uninitiated or those who need a memory jog, Boston's property dynamics hinge primarily on the proportion of properties tagged as "Sold STC" and "Under Offer" with the total properties on the market, e.g. if there are 40 properties sold stc and 100 properties available/for sale, then 40 as a percentage of 100 is 40%.
This isn't just a number game; it's a barometer of market sentiment:
Extreme Buyers' Market (0%-20%)
Buyers' Market (21%-29%)
Balanced Market (30%-40%)
Sellers' Market (41%-49%)
Hot Sellers' Market (50%-59%)
Extreme Sellers' Market (60%+)
The weight of these brackets can’t be overstated. They directly impact everything from listing prices to negotiation leverage.
Current Boston Property Market Snapshot
To fathom where Boston’s property market stands now, let’s incorporate our most recent findings:
The statistics have been sourced from the website 'The Advisory', which has calculated the market state for many years. I wanted to share them from the summer of 2018 to today so you can see for yourself.
What are the Statistics for the Boston area for the Last 5 Years?
In June 2023, we were at 38% in the Boston area. In July, that increased to 41%; in August, it dropped to 40%, and as we enter September, it has dropped back to 38%.
Based on the patterns exhibited in this table, it’s evident that the Boston area has risen slightly from the balanced market into the sellers’ market in the spring and early summer of 2023 and, not unexpectedly, back towards a balanced market as we go into the autumn.
Implications & Considerations for Boston's Homeowners
This new data prompts us to take stock and ponder:
For Sellers: Are we transitioning into a market where you must be more strategic, flexible, or patient? Should you brace yourself for longer marketing periods? Realistic pricing is even more vital than ever. Remember, in 2022, 79.1% of Boston properties that came onto the market had a sale agreed on them. As explained in last week’s article, year to date, that is running at 72.3%.
For Buyers: What challenges and opportunities lie ahead? Some properties will still have bidding wars, yet will you have the luxury of choice and time with others?
Broader Economic Picture: External influences, from inflation and interest rate repercussions to global economic trends, all cast shadows on the local property market. How might these larger forces be influencing Boston's property scene?
The Local Pulse: Infrastructure projects, school ratings, transport links, and even Boston’s cultural events can make certain areas more desirable. Are there upcoming local developments that could be game-changers?
Delving Deeper: Strategies and Tactics
Given the market's temperature, here are more granular insights:
Sellers: Innovative marketing—like specialised social media campaigns, virtual/video tours or interactive property listings—could make a difference in a cooling market. Emphasising unique property attributes, whether a south-facing garden or proximity to popular schools, can elevate a listing.
Buyers: Again, there is more than one market. If you are looking for the type of property everyone is looking for, the competition will heat up. Therefore, it is worth having mortgage pre-approvals in place and also being open to widening your search radius. Alternatively, buyers can wield more power in negotiations in a less competitive market, from price to property extras.
Dual Role of Buyer-Seller: A pivotal 81% of sellers also wear the buyer's hat. This duality presents its challenges and advantages, where a victory on one side might mean a compromise on the other.
Final Thoughts on the Boston Property Market
As we leave 2023 going into 2024, with its twists and turns, the Boston property market offers both challenges and opportunities for Boston's home buyers and sellers. Understanding the market nuances is paramount if you are a Boston first-time buyer, a seasoned property buy-to-let investor, or someone looking to relocate.
Stay informed, stay adaptable, and remember that, as always, your home-moving journey is as much about the voyage as the destination.
What are your thoughts on Boston’s evolving property scene? Do you foresee any other trends or shifts? Engage with us—your local insights and experiences enrich this ongoing dialogue.