Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Massachusetts Extends Order Closing Non-Essential Businesses

Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday March 31st extended the order requiring all non-essential businesses with physical locations to stay closed, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The original order, which began a week ago on March 24, was set to expire at noon on April 7. The new order goes until May 4.

Additionally, Baker said that he is extending the 10-person limit on gatherings until May 4. Baker reiterated that Massachusetts has been taking early and aggressive steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and that he must continue to protect the welfare of Massachusetts and our country.

Baker's announcement came shortly after President Trump extended the federal guidelines on social distancing for another month. The Massachusetts order does not apply to essential businesses, which include grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, restaurants offering takeout and delivery, utility companies, Uber and Lyft drivers, and hospitals.

Furthermore, Baker said he would announce an updated list of businesses deemed essential. Among the changes are hotels and Airbnbs which should be used for limited purposes only. This includes housing front-line workers fighting the coronavirus and residents displaced from their home. He cautioned against booking hotels and Airbnbs for leisure purposes. Governor Baker also warned that he expects a surge of coronavirus patients to arrive as early as April 7.

Services provided by Premier Property Solutions, LLC and your associations vendors (Janitorial, Elevator, HVAC, Plumbing, Drain, Electrical, Roofing, Fire Alarm, Maintenance, Garage Door, Etc.,) can continue to conduct business in Massachusetts and are deemed essential services as listed by the emergency order.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Boston Mayer Halts Most Construction, Halting New Real Estate Developments

Due to fears of spreading the harmful Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Boston Planning and Development Agency has indefinitely postponed all public meetings discussing proposed development projects under review. Furthermore, Mayor Marty Walsh ordered all regular construction activity throughout Boston be suspended as of Tuesday, March 17. Developers and contractors will have a week to formally implement the suspension. 

The decision to postpone all project development meetings followed Walsh’s recommendations that any gatherings with 25 people or more people must be postponed or canceled. Governor Charlie Baker issued a ban on large gatherings statewide on March 15th. The BPDA’s move to halt all project development meetings, essentially stops the development-review process for the city, as the agency reviews most projects before they can undergo construction. The BPDA’s monthly board meetings asses project based on their potential effects on the environment, transportation, and the overall public. 

Walsh’s construction suspension will stop work for at least 2 weeks on projects that are already underway, impacting numerous project developers and construction workers. Boston has been in the process of a construction boom, which has added thousands of condos, apartments, and hotels throughout the city.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Boston-area Home Prices are Increasing at the Start of 2020

It appears that the much anticipated buyer's market for Boston in 2020 is not here yet. Newly released data reveals that prices rose in the Boston-area in January, as well as sales, amidst a stagnant supply that is nowhere near keeping up with demand. 

According to data published by the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, the median single-family home and condo sales set records in the month of January. The median detached single-family sales price was $605,000, up 2.7 percent from January 2019; and the median condo price was $577,500, up 2.2 percent. 

Despite the continuous increase in prices, the Boston housing market continues to favor the sellers, as sales are increasing annually. A relatively mild winter and lowered mortgage rates were strong contributing factors to such high sale increases. 

Furthermore, the supply of available homes continues to dwindle. The number of active single-family listings was down 32.1 percent annually in January, and the number of new listings for the month were down 18 percent. For condos, the number of active listings was down 19.1 percent and new ones were down 8.8 percent.

With inventory so low, buyers are essentially competing with many others for a limited supply of real estate on the market, which is driving prices up. Thus, Boston continues to be a seller's market, for the time being. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Increasing Rent Hikes in Boston Could Slow Down in 2020

For years Boston rents have been highly increasing, and have presently reached a point where even $4,000 a month is hardly enough to lease a unit in the high-end Boston market.
High-end market units close to Boston, with many more expected to come online this year, currently boast monthly rents ranging from $5,000 to just over $10,000. The average rent in Greater Boston for the last quarter of 2019 was $2,349 in all apartment categories — that’s up from $2,223 the prior year and $2,117 in 2017.

It’s the fourth-highest average rent nationwide, behind New York ($3,599), San Francisco ($3,153), and San Jose ($2,630).

Market experts predict that Boston-area rents will continue to rise in 2020. However, the flood of new units set to come online this year is expected to ease the price increases. Most likely, the increase in newly constructed units will help slow rent increases in older units. 

Average rents in Greater Boston rose 4.2 percent over the course of the past year, compared with nearly 5 percent growth in 2018. Zillow anticipates a “slow, but steady increase” of 1.3 percent this year, 

Another great sign for renters is that there are more apartment listings than there were at this time last year, and it’s taking longer to rent them.

This is a drastic change from recent years, when the rental inventory, especially for midrange units, has been tight and highly competitive. Greater Boston ended the year with an average rental vacancy rate of 5 percent, slightly higher than the national average of 4.7 percent.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

5 Rental Features to Attract High Quality & Responsible Tenants

The success or failure of your real estate investments is highly dependent on your power to consistently attract and keep responsible tenants. How exactly do you find great tenants for your property? First of all, the quality of your property determines the quality of the tenant you are likely to attract.

Thus, if you want to attract excellent tenants to your property, you should focus on creating an excellent asset to advertise. High quality tenants tend to look for certain qualities and features. Here are the top 5 rental features which tend to attract high quality and responsible tenants:

1.    Nearby School Quality

The quality of schools zoned to the property was the primary deciding factor for the majority of high quality tenants recently surveyed. Schools are enormously important to families and single parents with school-aged children. Likewise, school quality is the best predictor of neighborhood quality, which is something all impressive tenants pursue. To ensure your properties attract only high quality tenants, only purchase properties zoned to high-performing, sought-after school systems. 

2.    Safety

Safety is a powerful motivator for high quality tenants seeking housing. In fact, one of the central reasons why prospective tenants are willing to pay more to lease a home (instead of an apartment), is to provide themselves and their family with a safe and secure home environment. Always research crime statistics and only purchase homes in safe neighborhoods.

3.    Move-in Ready Condition

The condition of the property, and more specifically the ability for prospective tenants to move in right away, is very important if you are seeking high quality tenants. Renting a property that is not yet move-in ready (requires new flooring, cleaning, paint), is not likely to attract high quality tenants. Your desired tenant plans to take care of your property and has elevated standards of sanitation and maintenance. If you provide a move-in ready home, you are proving through your actions that you share those identical standards.

4.    Proximity to Employment 

Commuting is not an ideal experience, and a big time waster. Thus, proximity to employment centers and buildings is highly important to excellent tenants. While looking at prospective properties, think about where your target tenants are likely to work and how close the property is to those areas.

5.    Neighborhood Quality

Neighborhood quality is a high indicator of lifestyle quality. Quality tenants care deeply about neighborhood quality. Thus, look for highly desired neighborhoods which would provide your tenants with a high-class lifestyle. 

Next Recession in 2020? What Should You Know?

Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. Thus, they also know that a recession may be approaching soon. A recent report published by Zillow Research brought to light a survey in which they interviewed economists, investment strategists and market analysts how they felt about the current housing market. That report revealed the possible timing of the next recession, and the majority of experts expected the next recession to begin in 2020. This survey confirms recent statements published by economists in the Wall Street Journal: 

“The economic expansion that began in mid-2009 and already ranks as the second-longest in American history most likely will end in 2020 as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool off an overheating economy, according to forecasters surveyed.”

What should you know and how this affect the real estate market? First of all, a recession does not equal a housing crisis. A recession is defined as a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. A recession essentially means the economy has slowed down significantly. However, it does not mean we are experiencing another housing crisis. Although the housing crash of 2008 caused the last recession, during the previous five recessions home actually values appreciated.

According to economic experts, the top three probable triggers for the next economic recession are monetary policy, a stock market correction, and trade policy. 
A housing market correction was ranked ninth in probability. Those same experts also projected that home values would continue to appreciate in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.  
Others agree that housing will not be impacted like it was a decade ago. If a recession occurs, it is unlikely to be caused by housing-related activity, and consequently the housing sector should be one of the leading sources to come out of the recession.
Essentially, a recession is probably less than two years away. However, a housing crisis is not. 

How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

If you are in the market to purchase a home or sell a real estate property, having a proficient and experienced agent is key. It can sometimes be overwhelming to choose a real estate agent, however we have made the process easier for you. Consider the following tips to choose a quality and knowledgeable real estate agent. 

1.    Ask friends/family for referrals

One of the simplest ways to find a quality real estate agent is to ask trusted friends and family members for a referral, and inquire why they recommend that particular agent. This will provide you with detailed information, which can be used to determine whether a specific real estate agent is suited to help reach your real estate needs and desires.

2.    Read online reviews/testimonials 

The internet is a great place to discover information regarding specific real estate agents. Many real estate agents share client testimonials on their website, while others share them on social media platforms. To ensure you have the full picture of a real estate agent, conduct an online search for all user-submitted reviews and feedback. 

3.    Look for a real estate agent experienced in your particular neighborhood

Specific neighborhood knowledge is a valuable asset. The more a real estate agent knows about an area, the better. Your real estate agent should be highly knowledgeable about the specific area you’re selling or buying in to ensure your goals are met efficiently and effectively.

4.    Interview multiple agents 

Once you have a collection of potential real estate agents, conduct interviews to narrow in on the specifics of each. By interviewing each real estate agent, you will achieve a broader understanding of your needs, and which agent is best suited to satisfy your needs. It’s critical you find a real estate agent who aligns with your personal goals and preferences to guarantee a smooth and positive experience.