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Holliston Mid Year Real Estate Update 2014

by Ed Daniels
August 13, 2014

The community of Holliston is reaping the rewards of a town that retains homeowners and has a strong school system reputation.  Located between a “red hot” real estate market around Boston, and a very quiet market outside the Rt. 495 belt communities, Holliston is holding its own.

The community of Holliston is reaping the rewards of a town that retains homeowners and has a strong school system reputation.  Located between a “red hot” real estate market around Boston, and a very quiet market outside the Rt. 495 belt communities, Holliston is holding its own.

National and Regional real estate news does not carry a whole lot of weight in a small community like Holliston.  When you are a buyer, you are looking at the recent sales from the neighborhood, not the statewide stats.  As a seller, if you hear the market is up 6.6% nationally and price your home based upon this, you may be overpriced.  That is the average, and may or may not be accurate for your specific community, or even neighborhood!

An example of this is the Fox 25 Hottest Towns in MA segment at the end of April (http://goo.gl/NH7B6N).  Another magazine that people were talking about had Holliston as one of the greatest appreciation in prices in the state!  They forgot to mention that the median prices in town skyrocketed because a good percentage of the sales recently are the new construction homes in the $700K+ price point.  This housing stock wasn’t available in 2012-2013, so it skews the results!

Low Rates

Mortgage rates continue to stay relatively low.  With the rates hovering around the low 4% region, they are helping the recovery in the housing market.  Projections from all the major real estate forecasters have indicated that these are going up.  Frankly, they should play a more important role in people making a move, but I don’t see that factor driving the decision more than financial security, job security, or outgrowing a current home.

Number of Sales

Why is the number of sales in an area important?  If you were thinking of moving, but there were no homes as possible places to go, many people choose to stay put.  Especially if you are required to sell your current home and use the proceeds to buy, this lack of inventory is nerve wracking!  What happens if you sell but end up having nowhere to go?  Would you buy something that isn’t ideal, would you overpay?  These are all valid concerns.

The average number of sales in Holliston for the past 10 years is 140 homes.  In 2013, we had 170 sales.  So far in 2014 we have seen 79 closings, on track to hit 135.

Median Price

Except for those new construction in town that are jumping up the median price point, this statistic is usually the most interesting to us homeowners in town.  In 2014 we are running at $466,000, compared to 2013 when it was $397,000 for the same timeframe.  This translates to a 17% appreciation!

When sitting with a Holliston seller, unfortunately I am not giving them news that their home appreciated 17% last year.  I guess this gauge is not the best statistics to go on right now.  The dramatic change in housing stock is the unique cause, and over the coming months the statistic will come back to being a trusted indicator on how things are going!

Days on Market

Over the past few years, I feel that both Buyers and Sellers have an overwhelming feeling that homes are Active on market for only a few days.  Sellers panic when their home is not sold at the first open house, and the buyers may feel a home on market for over 3 weeks must have something wrong with it!  From the Sellers perspective, being on market for a week “feels” like a lifetime.

The reality is that the typical home in Holliston is actively on market for 2 months (thru July 2014).  This is a very healthy number for both the Buyers and Sellers.

There are 2 issues we currently run into with MLS statistics in this area.  One is that the new construction developments don’t list each and every lot, and usually a sample house is posted on MLS but left there for a year!  When a lot is sold, they list it right before closing, leaving us with a 2 Days on Market listing when it really took 5 months to market, and 7 months to build.  In addition, there is a Contingent status that is sometimes used on the MLS, and this means the Days on Market counter continues.  A blog for another day, but this status allows the consumers to still see it as Active even though it has a signed contract for it. (I am not a supporter!)

The Months Ahead

Even though our marketplace went from a heated one to a slower one just as June came along, I am projecting that the Fall marketplace will continue at a steady pace.  We are experiencing a welcomed increase of properties being listed, and that likely will make some move-up Buyers to consider taking the plunge.  There has been a lot of homeowners that have hunkered down during the economic downturn, staying put in their home even if they are outgrowing it, while saving money and reducing debt.  The coming year may be the point where many of them feel ready to make the move.

Ed & Doriane Daniels are The MAhome Team of Realty Executives.  Located in downtown Holliston at 21 Central Street, feel free to contact them for any further explanations or to discuss how to successfully make a move in this market.  They can be reached at Team@MAhome.com or 508-341-7880.

 

 

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Comments (3)

Property Taxes are always going to be deemed "too high", but I think it is more important to ensure you get what you pay for. While we do see buyers concerned with taxes, it is not so high they are not still moving to town. Our rate per $1000 is high (Sherborn is higher at $20.34) but our resident's average tax bill is lower than Hopkinton & Sherborn. We are struggling because we have very little commercial/industrial tax base to assist, where Hopkinton has 57% more tax levy in this area, and a town like Natick has 5x our tax levy! You are right in that our residents should still expect top results in schools & services, but I feel I get that here in town.

- Ed Daniels | 8/14/14 12:28 PM

Nice analysis, Ed. Thank you for sharing it

- Pat Duffey | 8/13/14 8:40 AM

BUT! We have one of the "highest" property tax rates in the state at $19.88 per $1000.00! Think about that when they try and get the next Prop 2 override. Because you know they will try.

- Property Taxes too High | 8/13/14 8:30 AM

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