Blog Archives

Housing market to weaken through summer

Yesterday, Economist Mark Zandi predicted that the housing market would continue to weaken through the summer.  You can listen to WBUR audio clip online. Our weekly schedule is now online at If you’d like us to discuss a topic you, in-person or online, you can post an educational event on our experimental wiki calendar, too.

Posted in Bubble Hour, Defensive Homebuying, Housing forecasts, In the News, Price trends, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Timing the market

Tracking properties “Priced below assessment”

Welcome Boston Globe readers and others who want to see where properties have sold recently for below assessed value.  Here are three quick links, but first a few key points:  we assume our readers know more about their local housing markets than we do, so we invite you to add your comments, post additional properties, or contribute to our wiki.  You can sign-up for updates via RSS or email (FeedBlitz).  If there is interest, we’ll host our next Bubble Hour this weekend at PodCamp Boston to share insights and record some.  We’d like to begin adding audio and video clips to the bubble maps below:

Boston Bubble Map
Cape Cod Bubble Map

In coming days, we’ll also explain how we started mapping sales below
assessed value, add approximately 100 more sales from August 2006, and
explain how clients can earn commission credits by adding properties, too.

Want to submit some "bubble comps" with your offer?  "Grab" what you need, and place them on your own map (we can explain how).  For more information or to record your thoughts for our Real Estate Bubble Audio Time Capsule, contact The Real Estate Cafe at or 617-876-2117.

Posted in Bubble map, In the News, Mapping, Podcasts, Price trends, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Real Estate Bubble

Regional round tables discuss housing bubbles online & off

This morning, we learned that one of the leading real estate blogs in the country,, has been hosting a series of monthly real estate round tables to discuss the state of the housing market in New York City.  The Real Estate Cafe and other leading bubble bloggers in Boston began a similar series of collaborative chats 12 days ago, and we were thrilled that our first "Bubble Hour" generated 36 pages of content including over a dozen graphs.  Please let us know if you’d like to participate in the next Bubble Hour, and whether you would prefer to participate in an online chat or a offline meeting by emailing The Massachusetts Association of Realtors will announce their official February housing report on March 23, 2006.

Until then, you can help shape the content of the next Bubble Hour by posting your question below, or recording a message on our blog reader line (617-876-2117) for future use in our real estate podcast. We’re eager to add more content to our real estate bubble "audio time capsule."  Field reports and market observations from home buyers and sellers in Greater Boston and across Massachusetts are most welcome.

Posted in Bubble Hour, Market trends, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Real Estate Blogs: Best Practices, Real Estate Bubble

Survey results: Where are housing prices headed in 2006?


It’s good to be posting original content to The Real Estate Cafe’s blog again after our second bout of bloggers block.
Like the first time, the slump lasted for nearly 50 days but this time
we had an excuse:  we’ve been waiting for enough responses to go public
with our 2006 homebuyer survey.  The first graph appears above, and if you
click on the image to enlarge it, the results speak for themselves. 

We’ll post more results in coming days, as well as commentary on the
findings and their potential implications for homebuyers and sellers in
Greater Boston.  The survey is closed at this point, but you can
comment online or by record a sound bite, for potential use our real estate bubble audio time capsule
(a.k.a. podcast)
, by calling on our reader line:  617-876-2117.

Event planning:  Discuss housing bubble and survey results in person with other homebuyers & sellers

More than 40% of the survey respondents said they
would like a monthly (or bi-weekly) update on the real estate bubble,
and we have already corresponded with several other bloggers in New England —,, and — about getting together offline to exchange perspectives with
the public.  Would
Thursday night meetings in Cambridge work for everyone?  Your feedback is welcome below or by emailing us privately at

Posted in Consumer surveys, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Real Estate Bubble, Social Networking

Price reductions on single-family homes across Massachusetts: 2004 vs 2005

Sf_noreduced112404_05_labeled_2This graph, the fourth in a series of five documenting market trends
behind the Boston’s Globe’s recent feature story, shows side-by-side
comparisons of markdowns by price range for single family
homes across Massachusetts through Thanksgiving in 2004
versus 2005 (click on image for larger view).  As the red bars indicate, price reductions increased in nearly every price range in 2005, but most
notably in the mid-market or $300,000 to $600,000 price range.

The increase of markdowns in the $500,000 to $600,000 price range is
particularly visible in this bar chart, and could translate into
savings of tens of thousands of dollars off original asking prices,
even before our unrivaled commission rebates.  You can learn more about them by
reviewing The Real Estate Cafe’s menu of compensation plans, or
contacting us.  As always, your comments are welcome on our blog, or by
calling our reader line to record a sound bite for potential use in our
audio time capsule of the real estate bubble.

Posted in Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Real Estate Bubble, Savings & Rebates

Lessons learned from riding two real estate cycles

Following the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents panel at Suffolk University Thursday morning, Sooz and I went to a nearby Starbucks to go over the conversations we recorded with some leading buyers agents in Boston.  As we were getting settled, a woman overheard our discussion and jumped in.  She described lessons learned over last two real estate cycles:  first losing money (at least on paper) on a starter condo purchased at the top of the bubble in Philadelphia in the mid-1980’s; then purchasing another home at the bottom of the last cycle; and utimately hitting the real estate jackpot in Altantic City.  She and her husband are once again timing the market before making their next move.  When asked what advice to she would give to buyers thinking about buying now, she drew from her experience of loss in the mid-1980’s.  It’s a perspective some real estate bubble observers say is too seldom heard in the press today.  We invite you to listen in to our conversation at Starbucks.

Stay tuned for podcasts from the MABA panel on "Consumer Protection & Home Buying"

Listen: Real Estate Bubble Audio Time Capsule #2 (MP3, 7 minutes, 3.2M)
Date Recorded: 2 June 2005

Lessons learned from riding two real estate cycles
Featuring: Bill Wendel (Real Estate Cafe) and guest Judy, a homeowner from Atlantic City, NJ

Location: Starbucks on School Street in downtown Boston

Posted in Podcasts, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule, Real Estate Bubble

Capturing the Real Estate Bubble in an “audio time capsule”

Bubble_selfprotrait_8This impromptu audio recording was recorded last week with the help of Susan Kaup. It includes preliminary thoughts about how The Real Estate Cafe hopes to incorporate audio files or a podcast into this blog.  We’re also excited about creating an "audio time
capsule" to capture different perspectives — from ordinary homebuyers and sellers — on the Real Estate Bubble of 2005. 

Listen to the recording (2.2 MB)

Wikipedia defines podcasting as "a way of publishing sound files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new
audio files automatically. Podcasting is distinct from other types of audio content delivery because it uses the RSS 2.0 protocol. This technique has enabled many producers to create
self-published, syndicated radio shows." {more info]

Posted in Podcasts, Real Estate Audio Time Capsule
Recent Posts
Recent Comments
    HTML Snippets Powered By :