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Waiting for the Spring to List vs Listing your Home Now!

This time of year - WINTER - two of the most frequently asked questions I get from both buyers and sellers in the Boston area is in the same ballpark: From buyers: "Do you think that they'll be more condos to choose from in the spring and do you think it's better to buy now / are prices lower now?" and from sellers: "Do you think I should list now or wait until the spring?". My first instinct in answering this question is, of course, to understand the client's needs as each situation is different: does one need to buy or sell immediately due to relocation or other factors? If that motivation is not that clear and their timing can be flexible the best answer is to look at the data (fun, right?).

I thought about this as it pertains to my market, which is Boston's Seaport District, South End and Leather District. (Off the top of my head, I would believe that in the 'burbs, springtime is the right time to sell as you need to factor in the rush to get that buyer's closing early enough for getting into a school district for September, but not too early as to have your home / driveway / lawn covered in snow to make the curb appeal a little less polished. Once again, this suburban homes theory just a theory - but maybe a blog for another day! ). In terms of the Boston condo market , school districts don't come into account, and buyers moving here for jobs or other reasons is a 365 day a year flurry of activity. So, one would think that whether the sun is shining or there's a few inches of snow on the street, the market is moving. So, Boston condo sellers would still get market value and buyers would have inventory to choose from right? Here's the funny thing: the data (according to MLS), says otherwise.

The data below reflects three year's samples. 2012, 2013 & 2014. What I wanted to see was if Price Per Square Foot Listed, Price Per Square Foot Sold, Days on Market and Days Until Offer were different from two timeframes: January 1 to March 31st compared to April 1st to June 31st. (Once again this is all condo sales in the South End, Seaport District & Leather District ONLY.)

Here's the breakdown: 2012 Jan 1 - March 31st 2012

Avg Days on Market 122 Avg Days to Offer 87 Avg List $603 Avg Sale $585

April  1 - June  30 2012

Avg Days on Market 74 Avg Days to Offer 46 Avg List $622 Avg Sale $612

2013 Jan 1 - March 31st 2013

Avg Days on Market 43 Avg Days to Offer 31 Avg List $662 Avg Sale $658

April 1 - June 30 2013

Avg Days on Market 33 Avg Days to Offer 22 Avg List $673 Avg Sale $679

 2014 Jan 1 - March 31st 2014

Avg Days on Market 49 Avg Days to Offer 31 Avg List $681 Avg Sale $680

April 1 - June 30 2014

Avg Days on Market 33 Avg Days to Offer 22 Avg List $673 Avg Sale $679

As we can see  in ALL three years, SALE PRICES WENT UP & DAYS ON MARKET / DAYS TO OFFER WENT DOWN in those three months!

So buyers - scrape off those windshields and buy now! Sellers....maybe it's better to wait until after the St Patrick's Day hangover goes away to list?

for more information regarding the Boston Loft & Condo Market, you can reach me at: paul@bostonlofts.com, 617-694-0004

Save a little $ by buying your loft in the winter? Treat yourself to a fireplace!