Monthly Archives: July 2006

Dual agency: Untold story of real estate bubble?

I think there is some truth to complaint that the "traditional" real estate business model contributed to bidding wars over the past five years, hence the anger by some home buyers.  As a buyer agent, I can honestly say that our buyers seldom beat an in-house offer at well-known dominate firms in the Boston area.  My guess is that buyers were manipulated to drive prices up, and commissions were then shaved to insure in-house sales — enabling the brokerage to keep both sides of the commission.

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Bubble Map comments reveal surprising price corrections

It hasn’t taken long for the Real Estate Bubble Map’s first user to go from their first post to their first dozen as shown on the image above and their interactive "places" map.

If you visit their map and view the properties, you’ll read some interesting comments including two favorites: (1) A stunning $530,000 gap between a 2005 assessment and 2006 sales price; and (2) a long post comparing the present market to pre-9/11 slump).  After logging-in, you can write your own comments, add your own properties, or create your own map. 

Thanks to WestSideBubble and another new user, SoldAtThePeak for their thoughtful contributions.  We’re open to your ideas about how to use this experimental map and wiki to protect homebuyers in overheated housing markets, in Boston and across the US.  Over the next ten days, we’ll add another 119 properties to the Boston bubble map showing locations of homes sold below their assessed value in Greater Boston during June 2006.  Your contributions are welcome, too.) 

Posted in Bubble map, Mapping, Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble

Agent’s commission = buyer’s discount

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1st user documents falling housing prices on Bubble Map

Walkerst_071506_3 The first user has added two local properties to an experimental Real Estate Bubble Map created by The Real Estate Cafe to involve consumers in
the process of tracking falling housing prices.  Located at 21 and 30 Walker Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the contributions document an emerging trend:  both sales prices and asking prices are falling below assessed values in once overheated housing markets in Greater Boston.  Despite the prevailing myth is that housing prices never fall in Cambridge, the city is among 66 housing markets that have experienced significant price corrections over the past two decades.  21 Walker St. sold recently for approximately $150,000 below its assessed value; and the asking price at 30 Walker St. has fallen more than $110,000 below it’s assessed value.  That property went under agreement in 11 days in 2003 when it sold for $1,275,000.  After six months on the market, the asking price is now $50,000 less than the sales price three years ago.  (See comments on map for more detail on both properties and approximately 150 others in Greater Boston)

Both Walker Street properties are in walking distance to Harvard University, where an "Un-Conference" on Citizen Journalism will be held, Monday, August 7, 2006. It is hoped that other house hunters will create local bubble maps to protect fellow home buyers from overpaying in "extremely overvalued" housing markets nationwide. 

Posted in Bubble map, Mapping, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble

Coauthoring the opposite of crime maps


Reading MLPodcast‘s interview with Platial.Com Co-Founder Di-Ann Eisnor, what excites me about Platial is the opportunity for anyone to map what they LOVE about their neighborhoods and communities.  As housing markets slide into downcycles across the country, consumers will make homebuying decisions less on financial return and more on quality of life.  That’s where interactive, community mapping comes in.

But the transparency that Web 2.0 enables also comes with a "dark side," so here’s a challenge / invitation: 

It’s discouraging for me to see how much attention the Chicago Crime map is getting, not because it isn’t a brilliant web 2.0 application but because it focuses on the worst of humanity.  Some of us have begun to talk about creating the "opposite of crime maps."  If there are dozens of types of crime that can be mapped, shouldn’t there be at least that many ways to map "social capital" or good old-fashioned neighborliness?

Posted in Mapping

Support your local Utopian Village

Posted in Market trends

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog � Real Estate Commissions are Too Low

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Christophe Coenraets � Google Maps Collaboration using Flex, Flash Media Server and Ajax (Updated for Flex 2 GA)

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Gets your kicks on Route66, courtesy of Mappr

Use with Roommate Rendezvous?

Could you create a daily roommate newspaper, too, using this:

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Test view

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