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My Trustworthy Crystal Ball Predits the Boston Condo market

Real Estate Agent with William Raveis Real Estate

Ruth Lerner realtor

I have an ongoing joke with some of my clients. When they ask me what will happen in Boston real estate, I pretend I am reaching for my crystal ball buried in my bag.


It's irresponsible to tell people what will happen; we don't know what will happen.  Most economists get it wrong.  Especially now, when so much importance has been assigned to fiscal cliffs, mountain of debt, rivers of uncertainty  and other economic topography.

Yet, at the risk of behaving irresponsibly, I will use a combination of experience and my super power of keen insight of what I believe is about to happen.

Boston area small condo market is about to boom.  Like, really boom.  

Sure we can already see an impressive turnaround in much of the country, and it's pretty obvious in most of Greater Boston.  So what's so special about my prediction?

Last summer I wrote about first time home buyers serving as a leading economic indicator.  But I've got even sharper evidence pointing directly at our condo market: investors.  Specifically, investors outbidding home buyers.

Smart investors have been in the market for a couple years now, banking on a turnaround.  My observation is of home buyers getting out bid often, as investors step up with stronger offers, more money. 

I know what you'll say: investors have more cash and can afford to forgo financing contingencies therefore they win bids.  Maybe, but it only means they want the properties bad enough.  They are bold because they don't want to miss an opportunity.

Investors and their agents are the first to call me when I have a new listings, they want in first, they are ready to make a move before anyone can say, "double grande soy latte extra hot no foam."

Looking back at 2006, the peak of the boom in my Boston neighborhood, Brighton real estate was selling well.  But, I couldn't convince an investor to buy one of those condos as early as 2005.  Even with my business growing, I had a sinking feeling.
Between first time buyers finally making a  move and investors off and running, I confidentiality shout out at anyone on the sidelines, IT'S TIME!  Go outbid an investor, be bold, and feel good about it!


Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Ruth, we agree.  But we usually give them a couple scenarios about what might happen.

Jan 12, 2013 10:12 PM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Ruth: And it is smart of you to be marketing the Boston Condo market as it starts to take off...lots of future business awaits.

Jan 12, 2013 10:15 PM
Janis Borgueta
Newburgh, NY
Retired RE Salesperson

Great for the buyers that listen to what you are saying... Love the photo.. could it be you??

Jan 12, 2013 11:28 PM
Ruth Lerner
William Raveis Real Estate - Brookline, MA

That's not me....but I thought many people would think it is.

Jan 12, 2013 11:33 PM
Martha Matthews Vasquez

Good article. We are also seeing a lot of investors but they also want single family homes. May take a while to find the right one and when we do they have to jump on it or it will be gone. Many REOs are in contract before they hit the MLS. Boomers looking to retire in a few years have also decided now is the time to buy close to the beach.

Jan 13, 2013 12:28 AM
Paula Bradfield
Bradfield Ramsey Group - Salida, CO
Your Salida Colorado area Realtor Team

Ruth, nice post. I also thought the crystal ball woman was you. Our investers here also want single family homes. We just don't have many.


Jan 16, 2013 09:29 PM