Monthly Archives: August 2006

Are hidden “seller incentives” masking true price decline?

Side-by-side competition driven by the rising inventory of unsold homes across Massachusetts is creating a new kind of bidding war:  escalating financial incentives to help sell homes as soon as possible. 

Some time ago, the local MLS added a new field to document seller concessions at closing. However, entries are rare and as noted by one prominent critic,
"current house price indices are failing to pick up the full decline in prices
because they miss the various concessions (seller paid closing costs, buyer-side
realtor bonuses, and seller subsidized mortgages) that sellers often use
to move their houses."

Posted in Bubble map, Market trends, Price trends, Savings & Rebates

Industry’s seller bias understates risk to homebuyers

Herald_082306_1Kudos to the Boston Herald for asking "Has the Mass. housing bubble burst?" on their front page this morning.

If homebuyers focus on median sales prices, they might reach the same conclusion the Massachusetts Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) did three months ago when they told the public that a "New study finds no evidence of a “housing bubble” in metro Boston."

Afterall, according to MAR’s report on existing home sales during July 2006, median single-family home prices decreased just 3.5 percent from the previous year, despite declining sales during 17 of the past 18 months.  To their credit, MAR also disclosed:  (1) that is the largest annual price decline since March 1993; (2) median sales prices have declined for six consecutive months, and (3) that is the longest slump since housing prices fell 13 straight months from March 1992 to March 1993.

Posted in Bubble map, Housing forecasts, Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble

Maps we’d hate to see

Maps we’d hate to see:

Map recent comps in different towns showing LEO compensation vs traditional listing fee.  Compare estimated proceeds — net profit — from sales, too.

Posted in Commission Reform

Pricing properties to make procrastinating buyers pop!

Blog about these properties, after interviewing owners for podcast?

Concord: 71 Spencer Brook Rd    Concord: 71 Spencer Brook Rd
Cambridge: 11 Berkeley    Cambridge: 11 Berkeley
Lexington: 50 Fern St    Lexington: 50 Fern St
Hopkinton: 17 Meserve St    Hopkinton: 17 Meserve St
Sudbury: 25 Summer St    Sudbury: 25 Summer St

Posted in Bubble map

CAUTION: You are entering “The Bubble Spin Zone”

"You’re traveling to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound… but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are only that of the imagination… you’re entering… the Bubble Spin Zone."

Reading some assessments of the current Massachusetts housing market, one wonders if industry spokespersons are taking their cues from Rod Serling classic, "The Twilight Zone."  Arguing "that prices are not declining sharply in response to falling sales," one recently told the Boston Globe that "I’m seeing some concessions from sellers, but not a whole lot."  Last August when the same spokesperson was asked by WBZ-AM radio talk show host Paul Sullivan if buyers were in danger of buying at the height of the market, he said no.

So, to help inform homebuyers and protect them from overpaying in overvalued housing markets, The Real Estate Cafe has developed an interactive map to involve homebuyers (and fellow buyer agents) in the process of documenting falling housing prices, in Massachusetts and beyond.  Beyond price concessions, we are particularly interested in mapping sales below assessed value.  Would you believe that some buyer agents first began chatting privately about homes selling below appraised value this time last year?

Posted in Bubble map, Mapping, Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble, Savings & Rebates, Timing the market

Think Outside the Commission

Fifteen years after the Consumer Federation of America first called for the traditional two-sided real estate commission to be uncoupled (a reform they repeated recently in congressional testimony), some momentum is finally building to change the way real estate agents get paid.  What’s surprising is that the most recent proponent has presented his case to fellow professionals through a provocative mini-series called "The end of MLS as we know it."  Policies once assumed to be barriers to implementation may no longer be obstacles, according to a well-respected attorney who advises multiple listing services.  That’s GREAT news for real estate consumers who could save billions of dollars annually:

Posted in Change Agents, Commission Reform, FSBO: Best Practices, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Unbundling the Commission

Christian AID & Viral marketing (Pete Caputa)

Posted in Uncategorized

1% to list, 50% buyer rebate!

Posted in Uncategorized

Housing market so bad, St. Joseph left town

Housing market so bad, St. Joseph left town

<a href="">Inman News – Real Estate News and Advice for Buyers, Sellers &amp; Investors</a>

Time to turn superstitious tradition on its head.  Church basement seminars

link to

Posted in Uncategorized

Real Estate…a National Pandemic?

        article “The Big Glut-Trouble in Paradise” didn’t help
        rattled nerves when it outlined that prices and sales have already
        slumped by up to 40% in some areas,
and that second home sales now
        made up 40% of the U.S. market. The article also told how while 10,000
        condominium units were built over the past ten years in Miami-Dade
        County, 50,000 units are currently under construction or soon to
        commence with another 50,000 currently in the planning stages.

Posted in Uncategorized
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