Click on icons above for details of homes sold $100,000 or more over asking price from April 1 to May 15, the first six weeks of 2Q2014 in Cambridge, Boston & Somerville.
As Cambridge goes, so goes Lunenburg.” Really? When a credible news source like the Boston Globe publishes statements like that, it’s time to ask what role the media has been playing in the return of self-perpetuating bidding wars in Boston and beyond? Thank God, others — including at least one member of Boston.com team, question whether runaway bidding wars in Cambridge are a harbinger of The Biggest Home Price Boom Ever?
Think Cambridge is immune from housing downturn? These flashbacks might cause you to question your assumptions:
While we’re asking questions, here are some others to consider — and maybe rank in order of importance:
Those are some of the questions the Real Estate Cafe has blogged about and discussed privately with elected officials and the Cambridge Consumer Council since January. More recently, we’re pleased by the interest of investigative reporters and dream of using http://CrowdSwell.com to raise awareness and funds to mount a Bidding War Backlash, potentially in several cities in the US and even around the world.
What’s the case for a regulatory response, and what might that include? Let’s begin that conversation where the New Yorker ended an article called: Real Estate Goes Global
“The challenge for Vancouver and cities like it is that foreign investment isn’t an unalloyed good. It’s great for existing homeowners, who see the value of their homes rise, and for the city’s tax revenues. But it also makes owning a home IMPOSSIBLE (emphasis added) for much of the city’s population. And the tendency of foreign buyers not to inhabit investment properties raises the spectre of what Yan has called “zombie neighborhoods.”
Restricting foreign ownership would require verifying identity, which is the first step to regulating BLIND bidding wars as we wrote three years ago, before bidding wars reached EMERGENCY levels. What else should be included in the proposed Emergency Bidding War Transparency Act?
How does the emergence of two housing markets in America shape your response, particularly given this stunning quote: Incomes for recent college graduates are down sharply from 2006. And the median net worth for graduates under 40 is a paltry $8,700.
NEXT STEPS: Want to be part of our Bidding War Lab?
Homebuyers, innovators, policy makers, and elected officials: Please let Real Estate Cafe know if you’d like to collaborate on decision-making tools like the map above, showing bidding war data for the first six weeks of 2Q2014 in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. The interactive map was created from MLSPin data during the #DigitalFluency workshop hosted recently at the MIT Media Lab. Special thanks to writer and editor Kristie Reilly for her creative insights into the analysis and data visualization. We’re both pleased that the findings generated a strong response from other participants, see http://bit.ly/RELunacy.