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.