Friends and neighbors:

I can’t believe that the summer is already nearing an end after the spring of our discontent!

The real estate season got off to a late start, as not much happened for about a six week period after the start of the pandemic in March. By May, the marketplace picked up, and by June, at one point, we had as many listings in Inventory as there had been on a comparable date of the prior year.

However, with a six weeks or more gap in market activity that took place during the usual heart of the real estate sales season, the number of sales and the number of listings are way down this year. We are a full 25% behind 2019’s number of sales in Newton.

The result has been interesting. Far fewer people have found that dream home, or even just something that “will do“ than usual. The marketplace usually slows down to a trickle by the end of July, as people who need to make a decision before the end of the summer, when leases of those looking for a house commonly expire, and people who need to be in a home by the time that a school year begins, are still looking. In some instances, they can afford to keep looking, as landlords are extending leases on a month to month basis. Those who need to register a child for school no longer feel quite the pressure of years past, since much learning will be done remotely, anyhow, at least for the start of the upcoming school year.

Still, we are in uncharted territory with respect to usual sales time. For that reason, I expect that there will be more market activity in the fall, or at least a greater push by buyers to find something, than in years past. It still remains to be seen if inventory will increase at all in the fall, as people who may have been reluctant to put a home on the market for fear of attracting someone with the virus into their home have now somewhat abated. Also, the question still exists of who is really interested in selling a home right now? The usual home sellers, older folks looking to move into assisted living or a nursing home or even into a condo, are now reluctant to sell during the midst of a continuing pandemic. People who would normally be moving for a job may still be switching jobs, but the pressure is off to move, as it has now been proven that it can be just as easy to work remotely from across the country as it is from across the city!

Interest rates also continue at record lows for well-qualified individuals, as rates below 3% have been pretty commonplace for most of the summer. That is truly unprecedented!

Anyone of you would like to discuss this further, I am here for consultations and discussions.


Terry Sack