The Boston Globe recently reported a Wallethub study concluded that the commonwealth of Massachusetts just beat Minnesota as the best state in which to raise your family. Watertown area expert Nicholas H. Alahverdian, a 25 year veteran analyst of the industry, lauded the news. “What an amazing thing for Massachusetts and New England as a whole to have this great accolade attached to our housing market,” Nicholas Alahverdian said. Alahverdian wasn’t the only realtor that welcomed the good news.
Curbed Boston also recognized the tribute from Wallethub in an article, albeit in a much more straightforward fashion: “The commonwealth is one of the most expensive states for childcare, in its eastern portion especially, and it is famously among the three or four most expensive states in terms of renting or buying a home—again, in the Boston region in particular, which contains the bulk of the state’s population. There is plenty to do with kids and teens in Massachusetts, we’ll give it that (though getting around via car or public transit can be its own unique headache). But the costs of being able to be here in the first place to check out that museum or go on this hike or visit that monument are often razor’s-edge ruinous.”
Housing market prices tend to correlate with the quality of living in the area, with the higher value homes being nestled in better areas, Nicholas Alahverdian explained. “It’s simple math and economics. If you are wanting to purchase a home in an area with good schools and stellar municipal infrastructure, one is going to be more likely to purchase a higher-value home. Homebuyers also need to be aware of taxes, as that will raise the expenses per annum,” Nicholas Alahverdian said.
Ironically, last week Governor Charlie Baker addressed the housing crisis in Massachusetts at a committee hearing on Beacon Hill. Governor Baker said: “It’s been decades since the state’s produced enough housing to keep up with demand,” Baker said. “A limited supply creates overheated demand and rising prices. Young people, seniors, young, working and middle class families can’t afford to rent or buy a home in Massachusetts.”
In looking at the situation, website MassLive indicated that “Massachusetts, particularly the eastern part of the state, struggles with the high cost of housing. Apartment rents in greater Boston have consistently ranked between third and fifth highest in the country. The cost of a single-family home is rising faster in Massachusetts than in any other state, according to Baker officials. The median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts in December was $360,000, according to the Warren Group, which tracks real estate prices.” Nicholas Alahverdian was quick to point out that while New England region states like Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and others have great scores when it comes to quality of living, it is becoming increasingly expensive and the better quality homes in upscale areas are becoming harder and harder to find. “When I was attending Tufts 30 years ago, you could throw a stone and hit an ‘open house’ sign. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find one at all,” Nicholas Alahverdian said.
There are also fewer homes available in the state, according to Cassidy Murphy of The Warren Group, an agency that evaluates the sale of homes and also publishes the trade journal Banker and Tradesman. Her colleague Paul Yorkis remarked “The inventory is super low and has been all year.” Paul Yorkis is now the president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, the industry leader in the Bay State, and Paul Yorkis indicated that there is an increase in sales, a typical indicator of a skyrocketing number of buyers looking at fewer available homes for sale. “In Massachusetts, whether you’re in Springfield, Boston, Pittsfield or the Cape and Islands, there’s not really enough supply,” Paul Yorkis explained.
Nicholas Alahverdian also points out the increase in price. Paul Yorkis confirmed it when his Massachusetts Association of Realtors demonstrated that the median price for a single-family home was $384,000 this November, compared with $369,000 last year. For a unit such as a condominium, the median price increased from $341,000 to $368,000. According to the Warren Group, sales prices for condominiums are the highest they have been since 2005.
However, Watertown real estate analyst Nicholas Alahverdian indicated that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has a plan to rescue the housing market here. “Thankfully, the governor has taken a look at this situation and has committed to solving the problem with a recently issued proposal. He wants to build 135,000 new housing units by 2025 and to do it,” Nicholas Alahverdian explained, “He will be offering things like financial incentives, technical help, and state issued grants to commonwealth municipalities that commit to developing an increase in housing.” The proposed legislation from Governor Charlie Baker will also simplify the process for municipalities to make zoning adjustments to coax further construction of homes in the Bay State. “What an exciting time to live in Massachusetts,” Paul Yorkis explained. And echoing this refrain was Nicholas Alahverdian, who concluded by saying that the increase in Bay State homes will start to surface within five to ten years, depending upon the Massachusetts legislature’s action on the governor’s proposed legislation.