2018 was a competitive year for Boston real estate buyers, and it left many discouraged and resigned to renting. But over the last few months the market has changed, creating new opportunities for those looking for Boston condos for sale. Though interest rates are higher than they were at the start of 2018, there are a number of good reasons 2019 should be the year you buy real estate in Boston. Let's take a look.
Less Demand for Boston Real Estate
After several years of virtually unprecedented levels of demand, there's been a shift in the Boston real estate market, and it brings great news for buyers. Just a year ago demand was sky high, creating intense bidding wars and the expectation that buyers would pay significantly more than asking price. As a result, many buyers chose to look outside the city where prices are more affordable, or to continue renting. This buyer exodus has helped right the supply and demand imbalance that's been frustrating buyers for the last two years.
An Increase in Mortgage Rates
Many real estate buyers get wind of rising interest rates and step back from the market. So, in times when rates are expected to increase, like they are projected to in early 2019, the population of buyers drops significantly and the number of days a house stays on the market increases. This environment balances negotiating power for buyers and sellers.
New Residential Construction
Few other cities are seeing the kind of residential development that we're experiencing in Boston. What does this mean for buyers? You've got options, and they're good ones. In order to avoid commoditization, new condo buildings in Boston are distinguishing themselves in a number of ways - unique amenities, high-end features, distinctive designs and proximity to local attractions. Echelon, one of the newest condo buildings in the rapidly expanding Seaport District offers residents two signature outdoor pools and expansive sun decks as well as immediate access to renowned restaurants, recreational options and shopping. Watermark Seaport features a resident lounge with a billiards room and an innovation lab, Metro9 in Somerville has a unique industrial style and a roof deck with an outdoor television, and you can almost guarantee that any new condos in Boston will have state-of-the-art fitness centers, pet amenities and upgrades like stainless appliances, large windows and hardwood floors.
Residential Tax Exemption
If you own a home in Boston, the city offers a residential tax exemption as long as you occupy the property as your principal residence. The exemption gives Boston homeowners a discount on their annual tax bill, essentially cutting the annual tax rate on a $500,000 home in half. Though the exemption isn't a new benefit for home buyers in 2019, it offsets most, if not all or more of the monthly payment increase caused by the recent rise in interest rates.
In 2019 buyers can expect to see a greater inventory of Boston homes for sale, and because they will have significantly less competition than previous years, they'll have more negotiating leverage on the purchase price. So if you've been holding off on purchasing real estate in Boston, 2019 is your chance to take advantage of economic factors and changes in the market that will make Boston homes more affordable than they've been in years.
For more information about Boston real estate, or to talk to an agent about what to expect from the home buying process and the 2019 Boston real estate market, just contact us.