Over the past few weeks, my buyer clients and I have been EXTREMELY happy to see that each week, many new listings are coming on the market. In fact, Cambridge and Somerville have had 105 new residential listings just in the past two weeks. This may not seem like a huge number—and in recent years, inventory is pretty much always low here—but compare this to the 112 listings in the entire month of February and a mere 63 in all of January, and you’ll see that things are looking up.
AND… looking back to last year, with the brutal brutal winter/spring, and we are in much better shape! YTD this year, we’ve had 282 homes listed across Cambridgeville compared to just 183 in the same period last year. Hallelujah!
So far, all indicators are that this will be another *lively* spring market, with lots of buyers crowding into open houses, lots of multiple offer situations, and properties going under agreement within days of listing. Most listing agents seem to still be doing offer deadlines, but a few have gone old-school and just taken offers as they have come in, resulting in places getting snatched up even prior to open houses and lots of prospective buyers ending up disappointed.
I’m personally glad to see that the market is back in full force after the softening we saw last fall. Case in point, a 2 bed/1 bath Somerville condo came on the market last week (10 Hillside Circle, Unit 3) and according to the list agent, had 100 people through the Saturday open house, and an accepted offer that same day. Flash back to last fall, when the SAME UNIT languished on the market for 74 days with no offers before being withdrawn for the winter. Same agent. Same price. Same condition. Only difference was the timing.
Given the slowdown late last summer and fall, and the frenzy right now, buyers are asking whether they would do better to wait to begin their search until later in the season when they might face less competition. On the one hand, this seems like a logical strategy, since there’s definitely a lot of pent up demand after the winter months. On the other hand, the list prices now are based on comps from the past six months, so the prices may be lower now than they will be later in the season, when comps are coming from those places going under agreement right now. We are still in an appreciating market, after all.
In a nutshell, my best advice is to get out there, look at everything you think might work for you, and when you see something you love, work with your buyer agent to talk through the best strategy for making a strong offer and then cross your fingers! You may not get the first one, but if you are serious, realistic and putting your best foot forward, you will eventually succeed. Good luck!