If you are a homebuyer looking in to find a modest home in the popular neighborhood of Newton, MA, you better have your cash ready and your pen poised because low inventory and heightened demand has made Newton one of the hottest greater Boston real estate markets.
Condos and homes in Newton priced less than $600k with 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms and garage parking are going under agreement quickly - often in a matter of days and occasionally with multiple offers. Even in bidding war situations, however, buyers today are very wary to pay more than asking. Some examples include 59 Cook Street, under agreement in only five days, and 307A Winchester, which had multiple offers after a spectacularly busy open house.
Why is Newton so popular? Well, not only is Newton a short 20-30 minute drive from downtown Boston, its school system is renowned as one of the best in the state. That said, Newton has always been geographically close to Boston and the schools were always great. So in my opinion, it seems that there is something else working behind the scenes here.
Many Boston and Cambridge homeowners decided to remain in their homes when the Boston real estate market started to turn from a sellers to buyers market back in 2005. While they would have preferred to move sooner, these homeowners decided to wait out the market in hopes of an upturn. Five years later, many of those homeowners have grown out of their condos and are looking for good school systems for their now school-age children. We are also noticing that Boston area homebuyers today are purchasing homes with a longer term in mind than they were only a few years ago. Homebuyers, specifically first-time homebuyers, used to purchase a space with a plan to upgrade in two or three years. Today, many first-time homebuyers taking advantage of the homebuyer tax credit are looking long-term and purchasing the home they plan to live in for the next five or even ten years. They may forgo a cute Back Bay condo or trendy Boston Loft for the spaciousness of a Newton single-family home.