Joe Wolvek

My Thoughts on the Boston Real Estate Market

That’s when the Federal Reserve started tightening the screws, ending our sugar high of historically low interest rates in an attempt to get a hold on inflation. The post-covid-lockdown period has certainly come with a variety of challenges and uncertainty.

As we start to transition into this period, it’s worth asking what the housing market is transitioning to.

Do you think it could be...normal?

3% interest rates are certainly not normal. Having 50 buyers bid on a house is not normal (as nice as it was for sellers).

I’m not trying to say that high interest rates are a good thing.

But what, historically, is a high interest rate? 5%? 6%? Is even 7% a high rate? Not historically. Just for perspective, I’ve got folks in my office who laugh and tell me, “I bought my first place at 18%!” (BTW, that's most assuredly not normal either).

Here is a link to the history of mortgage rates over the last 50 or so years

Even at higher interest rates, the sky will not fall. Sellers will still be getting a nice return on their home. Buyers will not have to get into ridiculous bidding wars over homes. There is no bubble to burst.

Will a recession come? Maybe not tomorrow or even this year, but...Yes! They always do!

Here's my recession story: I bought my previous home in August of 2008. I paid $640,000. In 2010, in the middle of a historic economic meltdown, the unit next door to mine, essentially the same unit, sold for $575,000. In 2020, I sold my unit for $1.1m.

Let’s get a grip on what we have here in the Boston area: A super-strong economy with varied industries creating thousands of jobs. A vibrant city that is the envy of most of the rest of the country.

Over the last decades, Boston real estate has been a super investment.

Even in the 2009 meltdown, we saw minimal losses and a vibrant recovery. At this time, our market is much healthier. Home equity far surpasses what it was then. The average credit rating of current mortgage borrowers is significantly higher. The structural problems in the mortgage industry have been mitigated to a high degree.

And one more thing: Inventory. Levels of inventory here over the last 20 years or so have been low relative to most other markets. Absorption rates reflecting low levels of inventory, the envy of most other locations in the country, remain remarkably steady, even in relatively hard times, aside from a few spikes. As of June 15th, 2022, we had only 2.44 months of inventory in our downtown neighborhoods. For the same period of 2020 as we were emerging from Covid lockdown, we had 2.94. During 2009-10, they were higher, but nothing approaching the levels of unsold inventory we were seeing in other places.

If you just look at our neighborhoods in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, Somerville, and our other local inner suburbs, you realize that there is little opportunity to build vertically (at least for non-uber-high-end housing), and there is virtually no room for sprawl (until you get to the more outlying suburbs). So for property owners, there is built-in value protection over the long run.

So long story short, "normalization" means that there will be less competition for properties (you may even score a great property without any competition!), and less sharp property value inflation. 

Here is the detailed market report for *all* Boston neighborhoods and inner suburbs.

If you have questions about buying or selling Boston real estate, please call me at  617-584-9790, or send me an email at joe.wolvek@gibsonsir.com

UNDER AGREEMENT! Pristine 3 Bedroom Fort Hill Condo with Garage Parking Asking $825,000

Under agreement! My 2015-built 1,554 square foot pristine 3 bed home in historic, leafy Fort Hill has gone under agreement in one day and at way over asking price! This home includes a garage space, as well as an exterior parking space, and a bonus 800 SF basement just waiting to be built-out. Gleaming wood floors and recessed lighting abound throughout. This beautiful gem of a neighborhood is walkable to the orange line and just minutes from the South End, Jamaica Plain, and Longwood Medical Area.

See more photos, Matterport video tour, and details.

If you plan to sell your Boston area home or condo, take advantage of the widest possible exposure for your property to the most highly qualified clientele in the world. As Associate Director of Sales and a 30 year sales associate, I combine my local expertise with the powerful global marketing resources of Sothebys International Realty. You can view my recent sales and listings here. If you have questions about buying or selling Boston real estate, please call me at  617-584-9790, or send me an email at joe.wolvek@gibsonsir.com

 

 

New Listing! 2 Bed 2.5 Bath Ritz Towers Condo with Mindblowing Views $2,749,000

New to market! Hand your car keys to the valet as the doorman and concierge welcome you home!

Incredible Boston Common, State House and harbor views and sun await you as you step into your 30th floor corner home at the Ritz Towers Boston. Your 42' wide living/dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows provides you with plenty of room for separate seating areas or even to build-out a third bedroom! This unit has freshly refinished Brazilian cherry floors as well as beautiful crown moldings. The cook's kitchen features Poggenpohl cabinets, along with Sub Zero, Viking and Meile appliances. Spacious primary bedroom has ample storage and spa-like en-suite bath. Second bedroom also features an en-suite bath along with beautiful built in dresser and shelves. Just steps from the Boston Common, as well as the theaters and restaurants of this fabulous neighborhood. Enjoy five-star hotel services from the Ritz such as in-home dining from several on-site restaurants. Across the street from Equinox Fitness. $2,749,000!

See more photos, Matterport video tour, and details: http://ritz30d.com/

Showings are available now. Call or text me at 617-584-9790, or email me at j.wolvek@gibsonsir.com.

 

New Listing! South End Contemporary Loft Style 1 Bed $739,000

New to market! This contemporary loft style 1 bed is located at ArtBlock, a 2006 constructed, professionally-managed, highly owner-occupied, pet-friendly elevator building. This sunny 5th floor unit has its own front-facing private balcony and yes, wait for it...2 elevator-accessible garage parking spaces with room for storage! Kitchen features granite counter tops and stainless appliances. Open-plan living with plenty of room for living, dining, and working. Huge windows, and washer/dryer in-unit.

Investors, there is a 1 year minimum lease. Perfect for BUMC/Tufts Medical, downtown workers. Near Whole Foods, Foodies, the Silver Line, Washington Street/Tremont Street/SOWA restaurants and artist galleries, MassPike/I93/Logan Airport access.

See more photos and details: http://www.artblock-e503.com/

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, May 22, 12 noon-1:30 pm

Showings available before then! Call or text me at 617-584-9790, or email me at j.wolvek@gibsonsir.com.

New Listing! Luxury 2 Bed 2 Bath with Valet Parking! $999,000

14 West, South Boston’s premiere luxury building, in THE premiere West Side location, adjacent to the South End, very near to great restaurants, Whole Foods, the T, and all highways! Pull your car into the porte-cochere, hand the valet your car key, enter through the Grand Lobby with its 24-hour concierge/security and you are whisked up to your floor in one of two hi-speed elevators to a home filled with luxurious amenities: Designer kitchen with Sub-Zero/Wolf/Asko appliances, quartz counters, large, beautiful cabinets; large master bed with built-out closet has luxe en-suite bath with marble surround and modern vanity with quartz surface. There's also a large guest bedroom and guest bath.

There's great separation between bedrooms, plus in-unit laundry, high ceilings, recessed lighting, central A/C, balcony. Other building amenities include In-unit dining from attached restaurant; club room; pet spa; full fitness center with Peloton; and huge roof deck with city views, seating, tables, gas grills, and fireplace. CONDO FEES PREPAID THRU 3/23

See more photos and details at www.14west304.com

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, May 15, 12 noon-1:30 pm

Showings available before then with prior day's notice. Call or text me at 617-584-9790, or email me at j.wolvek@gibsonsir.com.

Under Agreement! Brookline 4 Bedroom Impeccably Renovated Condo Asking $2,199,000

Under agreement in one day for hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking price! Situated on Brookline's Aspinwall Hill, this spacious condominium lives like a single-family! An impeccable renovation of a historic friary, this home includes a 600+- SF private deck and a rare attached 2-car garage, plus an exterior space for guests. 

See more photos and details for 49 Rawson Road, Brookline, MA 02445.

If you plan to sell your Boston area home or condo, take advantage of the widest possible exposure for your property to the most highly qualified clientele in the world. As Associate Director of Sales and a 30 year sales associate, I combine my local expertise with the powerful global marketing resources of Sothebys International Realty. You can view my recent sales and listings here. If you have questions about buying or selling Boston real estate, please call me at  617-584-9790, or send me an email at joe.wolvek@gibsonsir.com

Boston Medical Community: Match Day is Near!

BOSTON MEDICAL COMMUNITY: Match Day 2022 (Friday, March 18) is nearly here! Welcome to our fair city, Boston Massachusetts!

As your realtor I'll help get you oriented to the city, neighborhoods, and our real estate buying process, and connect you with buyer resources such as mortgage programs for residents, doctors, and medical students.

I have been a Boston realtor for 30 years, and have assisted many incoming medical residents as well as new and transferring doctors and medical students in locating and transacting a new home. I would love to help you as well.

I know the neighborhoods around and accessible to the medical facilities and can help you manage the intricacies of searching for and visiting appropriate properties.

As with most things, our real estate purchasing process is somewhat different than just about everywhere. I will help you manage your transaction to a successful conclusion with as little stress as possible and as little drain upon your time as possible.

I have your A-Team; Great, doctor loan lenders, recommended attorneys, home inspectors, contractors, etc.

Heres more about special mortgage programs for residents, doctors, and medical students.

Please get in touch!

Joe

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    Beyond Boston: Modern Atlanta 5 Bedroom Home $3,850,000

    This modern beauty is listed by Zana Dillard of my affiliate brokerage, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty. This 5 bed 5.5 bath one-of-a-kind property on a 0.5+/- acre lot has an elevated pool and a spectacular interior courtyard with garden area. The interiors are sleek and contemporary with clean lines, warm tones, and natural textures.

    See more details and photos for 3746 Wieuca Road NE, Atlanta, GA.

    I can handle your real estate needs here in Boston as well as globally. If you have questions about buying or selling homes in Boston or beyond, please get in touch! You can call me at 617-584-9790, or email joe.wolvek@gibsonsir.com.

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      Get an Accurate Price for Your Boston Condo or Home

      Do you know what your Boston condo or single family home is worth?

      There are many factors that go into pricing. They include such considerations as the condition of a property, how good the common areas look, how well the home “shows,” the condo association’s financial state, where on the block the home is located, where in the building it is located, what percentage of the building is owner-occupied, what improvements or repairs have been made, what repairs may be coming up, how much light there is, and what the parking options are.

      We've all seen ads for instant home price workups in our Facebook feeds. The problem is that the algorithm doing the pricing of your Boston home or condo doesn't know about the factors noted above, and just as importantly, doesn't have a "gut feel" based on over 30 years of experience.

      I can't emphasize enough how important it is to price your Boston home or condo accurately from the start. I believe that pricing is one of the most critical decisions you can make regarding the sale of your home. Naturally, you don't want to price your property too low. Even in the current market, however, overpricing can have serious consequences. 

      The beginning of the marketing period is when your home or condo will attract the greatest number of motivated buyers. The goal is to capitalize on that. Time is not your friend as a seller.

      Get an accurate price for your home. And I don't mean one of those automatic instant reports with bogus comparables and a bogus price. This is done by me, a Realtor with over 30 years of success and expertise, and hundreds of property sales. 

      Find out what your home is worth

      I look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals. 

      Joe

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        Boston's North End Offers a Unique Living Experience

        Boston's North End still has a traditional old Italian-European vibe to it. Not only are there loads of well-loved restaurants, but there are many old-school meat, produce, and cheese shops, making it a gastronome's delight. Positioned at the very northern tip of downtown Boston, the North End is surrounded by waterfront.

        On the eastern side are historic wharves that have become residential, including Battery Wharf, a newly constructed luxury condominium project, and several older ones. At the Southwestern edge of the neighborhood is the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a beautiful linear park brimming with landscaped gardens, art, fountains, a carousel, food trucks, and open air beer and wine gardens.

        North End real estate is characterized by brick rowhouses, many of which have been converted into condominiums. Unlike the South End and Back Bay rowhouses, these were not originally created as single family houses. They were mostly first constructed in the late 18th and early 19th century as apartments, and later converted into condos.

        The North End is reachable by the Orange Line and Green Line North Station and Haymarket stops. There's an exit off I-93 that gets you right into the North End as well. It is just a few minutes by car to Logan Airport, Route 1, I-93, and I-95. And it's an easy walk to the financial district, the waterfront, and The Boston Garden.

        If the North End sounds like a neighborhood you might like to consider living in, here's where you can conduct searches for North End single family homes or for condos for sale. 

        If you have any questions about buying or selling Boston area real estate, please feel free to get in touch! I'd love to hear from you. I'm reachable at 617-584-9790 and joe.wolvek@bostonrealtyweb.com.

        Joe Wolvek

         

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