Year to date November 1, 2013: 31 homes have changed hands here on Meredith Neck. Being in the real estate business and and having lived on the neck for a while, it’s interesting to see what goes on. Who moves in. Who moves out. What new construction is going on. Beyond my natural curiosity, it is sometimes informative in a business sense to look at the market to see if there are any trends or noteworthy changes. Again it seems that all real estate markets are local. While we have seen an uptick in sales here on the neck, it’s not quite the level of growth and activity I hear about happening south of the border down Boston way. By way of comparison, sales for 2010 were 14 total with 9 waterfronts, 2011 sales were 28 total with 17 being waterfront, 2012 saw 21 sales with 14 being waterfronts. Out of the 31 sold this year, 20 were waterfronts. The most expensive property sold on the neck was listed at $4,150,000 and was bought for $3,600,000 after being on the market for 713 total days. Interestingly this home was assessed by the town at $2,950,000. The best deal last year was a cute little waterfront on Cottage Road that sold for only $337,000!
Every one wants to know what the most expensive homes went for so here you go; 2012 two homes each sold for $2,2000.000, in 2011 one home sold for $3,200,000, and in 2010 a one sold for the mighty sum of $6,839,000. It’s fun to admire these magnificent showplaces, but they are really an anomaly when you consider the REAL real estate market here. Properties that warrant these kingly prices are very unique and usually sit on very special parcels of waterfront often with hundreds of feet of lakefront and multiple acres of land. The rarity of the property and usually the grandness of the structures creates and sustains a market akin to rare cars and rare art and gems. There are so few of them they have a value not affected by regular market trends.
So what about the rest of the market here on Meredith Neck. Well it seems to be following the same pattern it has in the recent past, with the good news that things are improving. 2013 has seen 31 sales with 20 being waterfront and 11 non-waterfronts compared to 21 total (14 waterfront,7 non-waterfront) for 2012; 28 total for 2011 (17 waterfronts and 11 non-waterfront), and 2010 with 14 total (9 waterfront and 5 non-waterfront). Interestingly, last year out of 31 total sales, 21 sold for less than the assessed value by the town-16 waterfronts and 5 non-waterfronts. That translates into 80% of the waterfronts and 45% of the non-waterfronts selling for less than the assessed value. The biggest outlier is the $3.6 million dollar sale going for more (1.22 times) than what it was assessed for. This speaks to my theory of rarity having it’s own market. Of the 11 non-waterfronts that sold, they held their own with six selling for over assessment and five going for less. Remember that town assessments are helpful as benchmarks, but they are only done periodically and do not always give a true picture of the actual market as it exists today.
What does this tell us? I’m no Malcolm Gladwell and my understanding of Freakonomics is cursory at best, but I think the numbers can tell us something. 1. Sales are up here on Meredith Neck. Real estate is selling!! 2. Prices here are still pretty weak as shown by the ratio of properties selling for less than assessed town value. This speaks to proper pricing strategy when you list your home. Unless you own that one in a million totally unique property, you will fall under the influence of the current market and it’s current pricing structure. If you bought your home before the latest run up, you can still see a fine return on your initial investment as well as having had the pleasure of the use of a vacation home for all those years when you sell. 3. Inventory levels are starting to clear up. More sales= less inventory.
If you own a home here and circumstances require that you sell, homes are selling! If you are looking to buy, prices and interest rates are still very low. If the real estate market to the south of here continues to boom, it’s only a matter of time before we feel it here. We always do.
Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential and commercial Realtor® at Roche Realty Group. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 603-520-6609 (cell) or (603) 279-7046 (office).