This spring, there are three major housing market themes in Cambridge, Somerville, Greater Boston, and Massachusetts generally -- low inventory, huge price jumps & increasing mortgage interest rates (which have now officially hit 5% for conforming 30-year fixed loans).
Interestingly, people seem very focused on rising mortgage rates, but 5% is still historically low. In my mind, the biggest challenge is the lack of inventory. Ready to be floored? Get this data from an article in yesterday's Boston.com real estate section (emphasis added):
In March, there was an average of 3,007 single-family homes listed for sale across the Commonwealth, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. That was a 30 percent drop from even the ferociously competitive spring market of a year ago, when there were 4,277 houses listed for sale in March. In the relative sanity that was March of 2019, house hunters had more than three times as many properties to choose from as they did last month, with an average of 10,822 houses to choose from on a given day.
And 2019 was not an especially good year -- we've been dealing with low inventory going back at least to 2012. Ugh.
Message to potential sellers: please, please, please put your homes on the market!
Message to potential buyers: be prepared to bid high and make your offer as "clean" as you can -- the competition is fierce. Note though, that as we are facing rising inflation, owning a home, in my opinion, is one of the best financial moves to make right now.