The good news for Brookline and Newton home sellers is that the average sale prices rose from 2010 to 2011 for single-family homes and condos. The bad news for home sellers is that average prices are still lower than they were in 2005. So, if you bought at the peak of the market, it is probably better not to sell just yet.
On the other hand, as a home buyer, since interest rates are incredibly low right now, and prices are up but not yet ridiculous, you can take advantage of low mortgage rates and a healthy choice of properties. Quality towns like Brookline and Newton are holding their own and will probably see major price appreciation and multiple offers chasing too few properties long before harder hit areas have recovered at all. Brookline condo prices, are on average, back up to the last peak in 2005.
If there is nothing else we have learned in the last few years it is that it is very risky to think of our homes as ever appreciating piggy banks of equity. Our homes are primarily our refuge and haven in which to enjoy life. It makes no financial sense to buy more house than you need just because you can afford it with a teaser rate mortgage. But some sellers who bought at the peak, may still find that it is better for the long term to sell now, and even lose some equity in their current property, to take advantage of the lower interest rates and reasonable prices to move up.
If you are interested in receiving a market analysis of your home and neighborhood, please contact Janet. Click here to contact me.
Data compiled from MLS by the Pathway Home Realty Group.