March 21, 2017
We recently received an email from Zillow suggesting that the market in Needham was chilly with an “unhealthy” balance of homes on the market for sale. You can read the full report here. The overall grade for the market was a 3.5 out of 10 (it was 3.3 for the 02492 zip code).
Knowing that many people consume their information about the real estate market from large online players like Zillow and Trulia, this data came as a suprise and was a bit concerning. Unlike what the report suggests, we are seeing a very strong market that is tilting toward sellers. The inventory below $1.1 million is almost non-existent with frequent bidding wars.
Zillow’s own report indicates rising prices, with a significant run up in values since 2013:
In addition, there are currently only 41 homes for sale on MLS as of today, with an average listing price of over $1.5 million. Inventory levels are low for this time of year and anything priced well should sell quickly:
What may have confused Zillow’s market statistics are the average days on market, which currently stands at 112 days for active listings. In reality this is not an unusually high number and days on market is just a part of the story. A home might be overpriced because the seller is not motivated or a home that is under construction while active on the market can skew the total.
Despite what Zillow says, we are solidly in a seller’s market and have been for a few years. The moral of the story is to be careful where you find your market information. In real estate, there are few things more valuable than local market expertise.