Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Despite Ongoing Pandemic, US Sales of Existing Homes Jumped 20 Percent


Home purchase sales strongly rose in June by 20.7 percent, even after the pandemic caused home sales to slightly decrease in the past three months. However, Coronavirus cases continue to surge, which could prevent the housing market from rebounding further. Real estate prices continue to rise due to a shrinking supply of homes for sale and high demand. 


The National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes rose this month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million. Despite the sharp gain, purchases are still down 11.3 percent from a year ago, when homes had sold at an annual pace of 5.32 million per month. 


However, housing has managed to avoid a deeper slump from the serious recession brought on by Coronavirus. Demand has remained steady and strong among buyers who have been thriving within the downturn of the economy. Furthermore, record-low mortgage rates have helped support affordability and encourage buyers to make a move. Buyers have remained stable, however new listings have declined. Although buyers are in abundance, more sellers need to step up before the real estate market will see an overall year over year increase in home sales. 


The number of property listings has significantly dropped from a year ago to 1.57 million, representing a 18.2 percent drop. June marks the 13th straight month of shrinking supply on an annual basis. It is unlikely the housing industry can advance the overall economy until more sellers enter the market, to balance a high demand of enthusiastic buyers. 


Home buyers would considerably boost the economy, as home buyers usually spend money on new furniture and fix older properties with numerous home repairs. However, their ability to supply a spending boost to the economy is restricted if they cannot find an available house on the market. The limited supply is also increasing prices, despite much of the population struggling with economic uncertainty due to the recession. 


Overall, the combination of stable and constant demand, paired with dramatically lowered mortgage rates has helped birth a 3.5 percent rise in the median price of an existing home over the past year to $295,300.


Home sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West last month, however the increases were most concentrated in the West, with a 32 percent gain, along with the South, with a 26 percent gain.

 

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Most Cost-Effective Options When You’re Renovating a Rental Property


Remodeling your rental property has numerous benefits, including attracting new renters and keeping current residents in place. Here are the best and most cost-effective ways to renovate your rental property in a dramatic and powerful way. 

 

`1. Replace Windows

Replacing windows brings intense curb appeal to your unit, while also improving the appearance of the inside of your property. Upgraded windows are a smart way to make a good impression on prospective renters, while offering long-term energy savings due to increased insulation efficiency. 


2. Freshen Paint

One of the most cost-effective remodeling projects for any investment property is to touch up walls and trim with a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral colors, which resonate with a wider range of prospective residents. 


3. Switch Out Flooring 

Hardwood flooring continues to grow in popularity. Durable and easy to clean with a classic look, renters tend to prefer wood or engineered wood planking to linoleum, tile, and carpet.

Engineered wood is naturally resistant to changes in humidity and temperature. Unlike genuine hardwood, planks don't buckle, shrink, or expand. Thanks to its waterproof qualities, engineered wood flooring is even appropriate for moisture-prone areas such as a front entrance, mud area, or bathroom. 

4. Update Bathrooms

Remodeling bathrooms makes a dramatic and beautiful statement. Consider installing new faucets, shower heads, and fixtures. Look for low-flow versions that cut water consumption by as much as 30 percent. Also consider ceramic floor tiling, and a new tub and toilet. Go with standard porcelain for the tub. Keep in mind that federal standards mandate that all new toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

5. Remodel Kitchen 

As with the bathroom, a minor kitchen overhaul boasts a significantly more substantial return on investment than a major remodeling project. For example, instead of replacing cabinets in their entirety, simply switch out the doors and update them with new hardware. 

Replace appliances with energy-efficient models and shop around for a new mid-priced sink and faucet set.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Boston Housing Market Set for Quick Recovery


Great news for the Boston real estate industry. A study published by Realtor.com, a national website for real estate listings and information, found that the Boston housing market is the second most recovered out of the 50 largest metro areas in the country as of the week that ended June 13. 

 

Realtor.com’s studies rely on search traffic on the site, median list prices, new listings, and median time on the market. The firm’s data indicate that Boston was on track to see the busiest housing market on record in the spring until the pandemic hit. Overall, data shows the Boston market is experiencing a swifter recovery than the U.S market overall. Asking prices are growing at near double digits, all while sellers have yet to come back in full strength. The number of active home shoppers remains high and continues to increase, lead by lower mortgage rates and a powerful tech sector. Part of the recovery even includes bidding wars. Approximately 64 percent of Boston buyers working with Redfin real estate agents faced competition in May, according to the Redfin real estate brokerage.

 

The Boston real estate market continues to be competitive, simply because there are not enough homes for sale to keep up with the increasing demand. Overall, Boston’s pent-up demand from the condensed spring market and years of limited inventory make it ripe for a quick recovery after the economic shutdown. Realtor.com’s report found that the top five markets that recovered above their January 2020 level were tech hubs: Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Monday, June 22, 2020

U.S Housing Set to Ride Out the Pandemic's Economic Storm


Great news for real estate investors. According to a Reuters poll, U.S. home prices will defy the current economic downturn and ride out the storm, supported by record low mortgage rates and limited supply. The poll showed housing outpacing consumer price increases this year and next.

The U.S. housing market is expected to remain a sharp investment amidst a strong economic downturn; housing prices are expected to rise 3.0% this year and next. The forecast is incredibly upbeat, considering the economy is taking its worst hit on record and unemployment has soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

The coronavirus pandemic is currently wrecking economic havoc throughout the world, forcing businesses to close and unemployment numbers to reach astronomical highs. The pandemic has so far infected more than 2.2 million people in the United States, claiming around 120,000 lives, while infections are continuing to rise. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s median projections expect consumer inflation of 0.8% and 1.6% this year and next, which puts mortgage rates at record lows and a persistent undersupply of homes. Tight inventories are expected to be squeezed even harder after construction was forced to pause, when much of the U.S. economy was on lockdown to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Currently, the main threat to the U.S. housing market is high unemployment rates, which jumped from record lows to record highs within a few months. Fortunately, most of the unemployed were not existing homeowners looking to buy a home before the pandemic hit. Also, the very low mortgage rates makes buying real estate an attractive opportunity for many who are not struggling. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Rents Rise as Inventory Shrinks in Boston


Renters in Boston are still moving because leases are up, because they want to, and because they can. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, people have been looking for and expecting cheaper rent across Massachusetts. Across the country, the rental market has remained highly active amid the pandemic. According to a report based on responses from 9,000 renters, the percentage willing to move as soon as they found a new apartment grew to 62 percent in mid-April, a 10 percent increase from the end of March. The percentage of renters willing to stay at their current place plunged from 17 percent to 11 percent.

Rental market indicators show that inventory has decreased in some cities, while rent prices have held up across the country. The reduction in inventory is most likely directly linked to the pandemic, as people put their plans on hold either voluntarily or involuntarily. Due to a reduction in inventory, rent prices rose around 4 percent, from March through May, compared to the same period in May.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Tenant Rules!



ATTENTION to all Premier’s current and future tenants! We all need to adhere to the following rules to ensure the proper functioning of the building’s drainage system.

Please note that the main plumbing pipes in most of our buildings are cast iron and foreign objects included but not limited to the list below are prohibited from being flushed down the toilets or washed down the sinks. Please keep in mind that tenants are responsible for all issues that are caused by tenant failure to comply with the before mentioned policy. Please be responsible with what both you and your guests are putting down the sinks and toilets. Please familiarize yourself with the below list.

What NOT to Flush Down the Toilet:


1. Feminine Products
Tampons and other feminine hygiene products are not supposed to be flushed down the toilet.

2. Cooking Grease/Food
Grease should never be poured down any drain, period. It may look like a liquid that can easily be dumped down a drain, but when it cools, it will congeal and clog up your pipes. Collect your grease in a glass jar and throw it in the trash, or save the grease and reuse it, especially bacon grease.

3. Baby Wipes/Wet Wipes/Cleaning Pads
Wipes are also increasingly causing clogs and backups in sewage pipes across the country. Although some of these brands might say they are flush-able on the box, there are groups that are revising the guidelines, so soon all wet wipes will have a noticeable DO NOT FLUSH symbol on the packaging. If you must use these, throw them away in the trash can.

4. Dental Floss
Floss is not biodegradable and can cause serious clogs and environmental damage.

5. Q-tips/Cotton Balls
You might think that cotton will break down, since some toilet paper is made from cotton linen (Cottonelle/Cottonsoft), but they don’t! They will clump together, causing stoppages at bends in the pipes.

6. Diapers
Just because there is human waste inside does not mean that they are OK to flush.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

What to Know About Renting in Boston Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic



The Boston area was already a tough and competitive rental market to navigate, now the Coronavirus has added another layer of difficulty. Firstly, amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, competition and prices have remained steady for Boston’s real estate market. Below are some answers to common questions Boston renters have been asking during this time. 

What happens if I have an issue with my apartment, such as something breaking or I need an urgent repair?

Luckily, Boston Governor Charlie Baker listed property managers as essential workers who are allowed to conduct business with safety precautions during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, construction sites and projects, and needed facilities are considered essential workers. 

Therefore, if you have a problem with your apartment you can contact your landlord about an urgent repair or issue such as infestation or broken heat. In fact, it’s your right under state law to expect such fixes. Thus, you should feel free and comfortable to reach out to your property’s owner about any necessary repairs.


I can’t make rent May 1. Will I be evicted?

No. As of April 20, there is a moratorium in place in Massachusetts which pauses all non-emergency eviction proceedings. The moratorium lasts 120 days from April 20 or 45 days from the lifting of Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency declaration due to the pandemic, whichever comes first.

Furthermore, the national government introduced the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package titled the CARES Act. The CARES Act includes a 120-day moratorium on most evictions at properties that receive federal subsidies or that federal entities insure. The moratorium protects these tenants from new eviction actions for nonpayment of rent and from fees related to such nonpayment.

However, this doesn’t protect against eviction proceedings in progress before President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27. 

Can my landlord still raise the rent? 

Yes. That is the way the rental market works, amidst a health pandemic or not.  Massachusetts landlords, however, must provide written notices of any rent increase ahead of a lease ending, and tenants must have time to consider and to sign into agreement any increase. The rent cannot go up during a lease, either. 

Furthermore, tenants do not have a right to a lease renewal or other extension, amidst the coronavirus or not. Landlords hold the right to raise rent for pretty much any reason at the end of a lease (except in retaliation for taking action because of a lack of repairs or other rights violations). Additionally, there is no rent control in Massachusetts (as of right now).