I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I was up in Boston visiting one of my daughters. It's a wonderful town. We spent a great deal of time touring around. The North end, with the scores of Italian restaurants, was buzzing. Mike's Pastry's had a line a half block long. We went to a neighboring pastry shop that only required a 5 minute wait instead of an hour wait. Every restaurant was packed with lines of people waiting outside. We found a great place called La Galleria 33 on Salem Street. It was amazing. Our server, Lina, was gracious. It's unusually rare to find someone like her who was always smiling and helpful. She was so apologetic that our entree's took a long time, but we had no issue since we simply enjoying the time to catch up with our daughter. I never understand it when we get a waiter or waitress who isn't overly attentive and smiling. It takes so little to make your customers feel like they're special, and they'll certainly show their appreciation at the end of the meal. My attitude in life is always "service with a smile." I've done well by this philosophy. A smile makes all of the difference when interacting with people. We need more smiles!
We spent the day on Newbury Street yesterday. We tried to buy a 47 Brands B Strong cap, but we were laughed at and told that these hats have been sold out for ages and that they sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars. One store told us that when they had them in stock for a short while, they were stolen immediately. Unbelievable.
The homes in the area are all beautiful, especially on Boylston Street. Newbury Street was packed there as well. You would have thought that Stephanie's on Newbury was giving away free food, but no. There were dozens of people waiting to get a table there. It was no surprise that there was a Boston Red Sox game. They've been incredibly hot recently and the Boston Strong fans were surely happy this weekend. I've always thought that NY had the strongest fans in the Yankees, but I am having second thoughts after being in Boston yesterday. It was amazing. There were very few heads to be seen without the Red Sox caps on them. Almost every hotel in the area was sold out. We had to stay in Waltham because we couldn't get a hotel any closer to town. It just goes to show you how popular a city Boston is during the summer, especially when the Red Sox are playing at hime.
So last night, after a long drive back to Westport, I finally had a chance to go through the first six month Westport Homes Sales numbers. I was not surprised at all by the figures. Sales fell almost 20% to 169 units. The median price was up, but if you remember your elementary school math, the figure is less relevant than the "average" number. From that perspective, the number (the average sales price) was down almost six percent. Don't get me wrong. The Westport Real Estate market is still very strong, but there has been less people looking at homes in the past few months. The economy certainly seems to be on the mend, but slowly, and that's probably a good thing in the long run. We don't want things getting out of hand like it did a few years ago.
So many agents have called me recently and asked me if I've noticed the lack of buyers. I always tell them that if you correctly price a home for sale, you'll get people looking at it, even if there aren't hoards of people looking at the moment. It's no different now than it has always been. If a house is priced too high, it won't get the attention it needs in order to sell.
I wouldn't say it's a "buyer's market" right now, but I wouldn't say it's a "seller's market" either. It's neither. Basically, it's a good market where buyers and sellers can consummate a deal if they're both willing to be reasonable based on market conditions. Today's buyer isn't going to get a "steal" and today's seller isn't going to "lucky." Home seller's shouldn't be worried about recent stats. Mortgage rates are still incredibly low relative to historical standards, even if they have popped up from a year ago.
If sellers price their home relative to the market rates and comps, the home will sell. The one great thing about owning a home in Westport is that there are always prospective buyers that are looking to move in, in almost any price range. They just don't want to be overpaying. Have a great day!