Am feeling nostalgic as I think back to when I began my real estate career in November of 2009 — look at the inventory we had back then! Ah, the good old days…

Cambridge Housing Inventory
YTD, November 21, 2009 through 2013

Cambridge Housing Inventory

Somerville Housing Inventory
YTD, November 21, 2009 through 2013

Somerville Housing Inventory

Always happy to divide-and-conquer, my colleague Natasha Burger and I recently divvied up the job of running 3-year home price comparisons for Cambridge & Somerville. I previously published my Cambridge stats, and am now adding Natasha’s Somerville data to the mix. I’m sure you’ll agree the market here in Cambridgeville is hot!

Somerville Condos  1BR/1ba, without parking
2011 YTD – 5 units sold – average price: $254,900
2012 YTD – 8 units sold – average price: $288,875
2013 YTD – 14 units sold – average price: $289,489
3-Year Change: Up 14%

Somerville Condos — 2BR/1ba, with 1 parking space
2011 YTD – 36 units sold – average price: $320,238
2012 YTD – 25 units sold – average price: $364,084
2013 YTD – 20 units sold – average price: $365,920
3-Year Change: Up 14%

Somerville Condos — 3BR/1.5+ba, with 1+ parking space(s)
2011 YTD – 34 units sold – average price: $594,951
2012 YTD – 47 units sold – average price: $533,663
2013 YTD – 37 units sold – average price: $603,634
3-Year Change: Up 1%

Somerville Single-family — up to 2000 square feet
2011 YTD – 22 units sold – average price: $382,125
2012 YTD – 36 units sold – average price: $426,656
2013 YTD – 27 units sold – average price: $484,185
3-Year Change: Up 27%

Somerville Single-family — larger than 2000 square feet
2011 YTD – 9 units sold – average price: $585,500
2012 YTD – 13 units sold – average price: $707,385
2013 YTD – 9 units sold – average price: $728,333
3-Year Change: Up 24%

Somerville 2-Family properties
2011 YTD – 46 units sold – average price: $495,582
2012 YTD – 46 units sold – average price: $539,378
2013 YTD – 48 units sold – average price: $671,705
3-Year Change: Up 36%

Somerville 3-Family properties
2011 YTD – 25 units sold – average price: $587,641
2012 YTD – 27 units sold – average price: $585,974
2013 YTD – 15 units sold – average price: $732,400
3-Year Change: Up 25%

If you weren’t buying or selling a home in the past few months, you may not be aware at how much Cambridge home prices rose this spring. This was largely a result of our ridiculously low inventory — as of today, there are only 90 properties (singles, multis and condos) on the market in all of Cambridge. That’s compared to 185 this time last year, when we already had an inventory shortage!

Here are some of the sale price changes for a sampling of property types — comparisons are based on YTD sales up to July 6 for the past three years.

Condo — 1BR/1ba, without parking

2011 YTD – 40 units sold – average price: $298,048
2012 YTD – 41 units sold – average price: $330,930
2013 YTD – 53 units sold – average price: $393,986
3-Year Change: Up 32%
arrow_up

 Condo — 2BR/1ba, with 1 parking space

2011 YTD – 21 units sold – average price: $380,895
2012 YTD – 45 units sold – average price: $457,703
2013 YTD – 24 units sold – average price: $431,654
3-Year Change: Up 13%

arrow_up

Condo — 3BR/1.5+ba, with 1+ parking space(s)

2011 YTD – 36 units sold – average price: $796,653
2012 YTD – 31 units sold – average price: $791,745
2013 YTD – 45 units sold – average price: $953,364
3-Year Change: Up 20%

arrow_up

Single-family — up to 2000 square feet

2011 YTD – 23 units sold – average price: $591,728
2012 YTD – 25 units sold – average price: $604,779
2013 YTD – 33 units sold – average price: $676,761
3-Year Change: Up 14%

arrow_up

Single-family — larger than 2000 square feet

2011 YTD – 29 units sold – average price: $1,530,499
2012 YTD – 30 units sold – average price: $1,696,917
2013 YTD – 37 units sold – average price: $2,013,500
3-Year Change: Up 32%

arrow_up

2-family properties

2011 YTD – 12 units sold – average price: $766,500
2012 YTD – 26 units sold – average price: $790,294
2013 YTD – 12 units sold – average price: $960,375
3-Year Change: Up 25%

arrow_up

3-family properties

2011 YTD – 8 units sold – average price: $853,439
2012 YTD – 8 units sold – average price: $1,010,500
2013 YTD – 12 units sold – average price: $1,036,417
3-Year Change: Up 21%

arrow_up

To illustrate our inventory shortage, here’s where we stand today, compared to June 7, 2012:

CONDO INVENTORY TODAY

Cambridge — 44% of last year’s inventory

  • On the market today: 78
  • On the market this day last year: 176

Somerville — 45% of last year’s inventory

  • On the market today: 45
  • On the market this day last year: 99

SINGLE FAMILY INVENTORY TODAY

Cambridge — 42% of last year’s inventory

  • On the market today: 14
  • On the market this day last year: 33

Somerville — 59% of last year’s inventory

  • On the market today: 13
  • On the market this day last year: 22
  • Difference:

MULTI-FAMILY INVENTORY TODAY

Cambridge — about equal, but numbers too low to mean anything

Somerville — 50% of last year’s inventory

  • On the market today: 22
  • On the market this day last year: 44

Last week Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index reported increases in every one of the 20 markets it surveys — the composite increase was 10.9% — the largest gain in seven years. Thought you might want to know about our market specifically, so will be running an analysis of various housing types, beginning with condos here…

Cambridge condo prices:

  • 2013 YTD — 293 units sold
  • Average price — $571,884 — an increase of 12.0% over the 2012 average price of $510,758

Somerville condo prices:

  • 2013 YTD — 142 units sold
  • Average price — $434,502 — an increase of 8.4% over the 2012 average price of $400,852

Stay tuned for data on singles and multi-families…

 

Real estate attorney and blogger extraordinaire Rich Vetstein recently invited me to participate in a “round table” discussion for The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog — following is an excerpt. There’s a link at the end to click over to the full article…

Strategies to Succeed In A Seller’s Real Estate Market: A Roundtable Discussion
Put Your Best Offer Forward & Get Pre-Approved Beforehand, Says Local Experts

Well, it’s official now. With buyers back in droves, an abnormally low inventory of good properties, and bidding wars popping up all over the place, the Greater Boston real estate market has now made full circle into a seller’s market. As the Boston Globe recently wrote, we are “desperately seeking sellers.”

For prospective buyers in a seller’s market, the strategies to succeed and find your dream home are very different from just a year or two ago. To help you navigate these unfamiliar waters, I’ve asked Cambridge-Somerville Realtor, Lara Gordon of Coldwell Banker, and Brian Cavanaugh, Senior Mortgage Banker at RMS Mortgage, to join me in this “round-table” discussion about how buyers can succeed in a seller’s market…

Mass Real Estate Law Blog Roundtable

It really pains me when I hear people reference “Zestimates®” of their homes. The Zillow algorithm for estimating a home’s market value may be a fun tool to play around with, but it is not an accurate indicator of value in our market.

So how off is it?

To find out, I took a look at a few recent Cambridge and Somerville sales and ran the properties through the Zestimator® to see how the numbers compared. Here are the results:

23 Harvard Street U:2, Somerville (Spring Hill condo)

  • Zestimate® says… $399,651
  • Actual sale price… $460,000 — 15% higher than Zestimate®

17 Tremont Street U:3, Cambridge (Area Four condo)

  • Zestimate® says… $463,581
  • Actual sale price… $538,000 — 16% higher than Zestimate®

48 8Th St, Cambridge (East Cambridge 2-family)

  • Zestimate® says… $529,504
  • Actual sale price… $440,000 — 17% less than Zestimate®

The net? If you really want to know what your home is worth, have a local agent come out to visit and prepare a comparative market analysis — you can read more about how I personally handle pricing in my post on the topic.