Real Estate Trends – Arlington, Massachusetts

Introduction:

Welcome back for our first market trend report of 2015!  As always we will be examining a town in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and its real estate markets.  If this is the first time you have read one of these reports we examine the town’s year over year change in the real estate market and talk about the observations and what they mean for the market now and going forward.

Today we are highlighting Arlington, MA in Middlesex County.

Arlington Map - Arlington MA Real Estate

Market Trends in Arlington, MA – December 2013 and 2014:

The Arlington, MA market has declined since last December.  Both the listing and sales prices are down, while the days on market have increased as well.  Inventory was down a bit with 20 sales in December of 2013 and 16 in December 2014. As a general commentary Arlington, MA would usually be included in the “Hot” markets in the Great Boston area.  Seeing a town like this starting to show some decline could be a leading indicator that the market in the area is teetering on a peak.

Average Listing Prices:

The first thing we will look at is the average listing price.  For Arlington, MA there was an average list price of $641,771 for December 2013.  This decreased down to $623,938 in December 2014.  That is a fairly small decrease of 2.78%.  Not a huge decrease but a noticeable difference in the actual number of an almost $18K decrease.

Average Sale Prices:

The next thing we will be examining is the average sale prices.  For December of 2013 the average sale price for Arlington, MA was $648,921, but by December 2014 that was down to $615,830.  That would be a much larger decrease of 5.10%.  When the sales prices are falling faster than the listing prices that will often indicate that the market is changing and sellers and their agents have not caught up to it yet. One important point to notice is in December 2013 the sale price is HIGHER than the list price.  This would seem to show the feeding frenzy impression that people have of this region with multiple above asking price offers was the case then.  10 of the 20 sales were for above the asking price with 2 others selling for exactly the list price, so it was not a market that was seeing any real discounts with places selling on average for more than 101% of the list.  In 2014 there were still some above list sales but many less and more going for a discounted price.  On average in 2014 places were selling at 98.7% of the list, which is still good for a healthy market but not frenzied as before.

Average Days on Market:

The final indicator we look at is the days on market.  Which measures how long it is takes for a house to sell in this market.  For Arlington, MA the average days on market in December of 2013 was 22.05 and the average days on market for December 2014 was 30.88, for a 40% increase. Along with the observations above this also shows the market cooling off.  22 days on market (DOM) is very low and of course many places were not on nearly that long.  To tie in with the observation on the sales prices 7 of the sales had DOM of less than 10 days and 6 of those sold for above list.  In fairness the just under 31 DOM for 2014 is actually pretty low too, but again much more normal for a healthy market.

Arlington, Mass Summary:

The Arlington, Massachusetts real estate market has cooled off a bit since last year.  The declines in both listed and sale prices make this clear as well as the increase in the days on market.  The observation that last year houses were selling for above listed price a lot and now are not is important to see that even if Arlington isn’t about to fall off the cliff things are returning to a more normal market and 2013 was probably the top of the market and the best chance to fetch a premium price for your property. In summary if you are looking to sell a house in Arlington, MA now you should expect to get a bit less for it than you would have last year.  You also should expect to need to actually take a discount off of your initial price to avoid sitting on it for a longer time.  Definitely last year’s strategy of under pricing the listing to get multiple above list offers is not a good one now.

 

Do you need to sell your Arlington, Massachusetts house fast?  If you would like to sell your home fast and hassle free schedule a consultation with us today.

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(Image credit: 1875 Map of Arlington via Wikipedia)    

 

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