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"In a Sense, it has Elevated Real Estate Markets as a Centerpiece of Our Lives."

Thank you for the 'pandemic poetry' Elena Cox, in your well-written article for realtor.com! Our local real estate market has definitely been rocked by Covid-19, as you say, and your story rings true here on the northshore of Boston, MA. 

My favorite line: "Frenzied, take-no prisoners bidding wars might even quiet down into mere skirmishes." Our team of well-seasoned REALTOR professionals wholeheartedly hopes that will come to fruition, soon, really soon!

Despite the hardships these conditions have manifested, real estate, or what we call "HOME", has always been the centerpiece of our lives. We are proud to have been considered essential since the beginning of the pandemic; we are. 

Read Elena's full article here: How the U.S. Housing Market Was Rocked by COVID-19—and Where We Go From Here.

Casting Call for North Shore Farmhouse Owners - Ipswich MA

Must be within 45 minute drive of Ipswich!  Own a farmhouse on the North Shore of Boston that needs some major renovations? High Noon Entertainment wants you to get in touch.

The production company behind Fixer Upper is now casting New England farmhouse owners for a national show on a major cable network. The ideal candidate must live within a 45-minute drive of Ipswich and have an existing renovation budget of $150,000.

The team is looking for homes built before 1940, and in need of a large-scale renovation—ideally a renovation of four to five rooms. The family also must be willing to vacate the house for the duration of the build. And they’ll have to let the show’s design team take the reins!

Renovations will start this spring and summer, to be finished by early fall at the latest.

If you think you and your home are a good fit, head to newenglandcastingcall.castingcrane.com to apply. For more information, visit highnoontv.com.

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Median Vs. Average - in Real Estate

Median vs. Average

The median of a set of numbers is that number where half the numbers are lower and half the numbers are higher. In the case of real estate, that means that the median is the price where half the homes sold in any given area that month were cheaper, and half were more expensive than the median.

Here's an example. Take a look at these 11 fictional home prices:
 
  1. $100,000
  2. $101,000
  3. $102,000
  4. $103,000
  5. $104,000
  6. $105,000
  7. $106,000
  8. $107,000
  9. $650,000
  10. $1 million
  11. $3 million
The median price of these 11 houses is $105,000. That's arrived at because five houses were lower priced and five were higher priced.
The average price of these 11 houses is $498,000. That's what you get if you add up all those prices and divide by 11.
What a difference. When you are looking at recently sold prices of houses, make sure you know whether the numbers are averages or medians. Both numbers provide good information, but they have different implications. If the average price in a particular area is higher than the median for the same time period, that tells you that the area contains significantly higher-priced houses even though in that particular time frame, sales were strong in the lower range.

Best Number to Use for Real Estate

The median price in a particular neighborhood is generally regarded as the more useful of these two ways of looking at prices. That's because an average price can be significantly skewed by sales that are extremely high or extremely low.3

If you were looking at an area whose prices were reflected in the example above and you considered the average price, $498,000, you might decide it is out of your price range and look elsewhere. But that number is distorted because, while most of the houses sold in the low $100,000s, the two at the high end drastically changed the average. If you remove those two million-dollar sales, the average is $164,000, still higher than the median but much closer to it than the other number. That's the effect that extremely expensive (or extremely low-priced) house sales have on average prices for an area.
 
On the other hand, if you look at the median price, $105,000, you might think that area was very affordable, and it's a much more accurate reflection of the prices of most of the houses sold at that location in that time frame.
 

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Massachusetts Home Sales Hit 16-Year High During Pandemic - Ipswich MA - Windhill Realty - Massachusetts Real Estate

More single-family homes were sold last year in Massachusetts than in any other year since 2004, despite a once-in-a-century pandemic that threatened the financial security of thousands of residents and dramatically changed the process of buying and selling a home.

There were 61,469 single-family home sales in 2020, a 3.9 percent increase over the sales total of 2019, according to The Warren Group. The median sale price for those homes climbed 11.4 percent from 2019 to hit $445,500 last year.

“In the wake of the first COVID-19 lockdown way back in March, single-family home sales took a nosedive for the entire second quarter,” Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said. “If you told me back then that by the end of the year that the total number of sales would surpass 2019, there’s no way I would have believed you … yet here we are. Another record-setting year in the books for Massachusetts real estate.”

Warren said an unprecedented December helped to boost the 2020 totals. December 2020 saw 6,410 single-family home sales in Massachusetts — the most ever recorded for the month and up 28.6 percent from December 2019. The median sale price for the month jumped 14.4 percent to $455,000, an all-time high for the month and the sixth consecutive month with a median sale price greater than $450,000, Warren said.

“The hot market has continued right into December, four straight months of sales gains of 25 percent or more,” driven by low interest rates and people spending more time at home. “The more time they spend at home, the more they think about the home and some ask what they want to change,” he said on The Warren Group’s podcast.

Almost everyone who sold or purchased a home in 2020 probably had to deal with COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures in one way or another. Packed spring open houses gave way to virtual showings and eventually to tightly-scheduled and timed windows for prospective buyers to tour homes for sale.

But despite the new hurdles COVID-19 imposes on buying or selling a home, the virus and its accompanying shift towards remote work helped to fuel a migration away from cities and towards “vacation” areas in Massachusetts like Cape Cod and the Berkshires, Warren said.

He said that he expects the housing market will “continue to sell well” in 2021 but saw a concerning trend emerge at the end of 2020.

“The one thing I worry about is the rapidly-rising median price across the state,” Warren said. “For six straight years, we saw a very good market but with restrained growth in price — just two to five percent. The tail end of 2020 saw huge changes and prices rose by 14 percent or more for five straight months. For the year as a whole, prices rose 11.4 percent. I consider that to be unsustainable.”

He added, “I hope we see the market cool and consolidate its gains before we create a bubble in prices as we did in 2005. The collapse of the market in 2006 and beyond was very painful.”

Gov. Charlie Baker last week signed an economic development bill that included a housing production measure anchored to local zoning changes, and another initiative designed to boost housing near MBTA stations.

More single-family homes were sold last year in Massachusetts than in any other year since 2004, despite a once-in-a-century pandemic that threatened the financial security of thousands of residents and dramatically changed the process of buying and selling a home. Thank you whdh Boston for keeping us informed! 

Looking for a home on Boston's north shore

Rockport MA Adopts Community Impact Fee

Rockport Adopts Community Impact Fee
At the annual town meeting last Saturday, Rockport voted to adopt two articles that will impose a 3% Community Impact Fee on short term rentals. NSAR mobilized its Rapid Response Team, which opposed both articles. Outreach was conducted to REALTORS ® who are Rockport residents to inform them of the issue and the reasons for opposition.
 
A Community Impact Fee is a tax applied to short term rentals (less than 31 days). 3% is the maximum percentage that can be implemented. Within Rockport the tax will apply to rentals that are either:

  • “Professionally managed” (defined as 2 or more units in non-primary residences)
  • Located within a two-family or three family primary residence

When a Community Impact Fee is adopted, at least thirty-five percent of the collected money must be dedicated to either affordable housing or local infrastructure projects. Rockport joined Gloucester and Swampscott as North Shore communities that have adopted the tax.
 

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Boston is the Most Gridlocked City in the Country! Move to a Commuter Town!

Boston, MA is the most gridlocked city in the country! It's hard to believe we outrank Washington D.C., New York City and Los Angeles for traffic congestion but according to a new annual global traffic scorecard by Inrix and reported by WGBH, we are at the top of the list! What can you do about it? Why not move to a commuter town? Ipswich, MA and many other northshore towns are home to the commuter rail. Let us help you make the north shore your home. Leave the city grind behind. 

Best Apple Picking on the North Shore & Beyond

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Best Sledding on the North Shore

Rumor has it, these are some of the best sledding spots on the North Shore!

Woodsom Farm - Amesbury

New England Sports Park - Amesbury

Ward Reservation - Andover

Lynch Park - Beverly

Beverly Golf and Tennis Club - Beverly

Endicott Park - Danvers

Stavros Reservation - Essex

Stage Fort Park - Gloucester

Bass Rocks Golf Club - Gloucester

Veasey Park - Groveland

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate - Ipswich

Cable Gardens Hill - Ipswich

Gannon Municipal Golf Course - Lynn

Essex County Club - Manchester

Seaside Park - Marblehead

Gatchell Playground - Marblehead

Ould Newbury Golf Club - Newbury

Maudslay State Park - Newburyport

Bartlet Mall - Newburyport

March's Hill - Newburyport

Brooksby Farm - Peabody

Evans Field - Rockport

Mack Park - Salem

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - South Hamilton

Jackson Park - Swampscott

Phillips Park - Swampscott

Wheatland Hill - Topsfield

Wenham Country Club - Wenham

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Buying Vs. Renting North of Boston

When does owning your home become cheaper than renting? There are plenty of pros and cons both ways but if we look at cost only, the gap continues to narrow, particuarly here in Boston, MA and North of Boston. Try this handy Rent Vs. Buy Calculator from Realtor.com to help you decide. Have questions about neighborhoods, schools, community services, home values, etc.? Speak with an experienced professional who knows the area! We do! 978-356-8922