For the folks who invest in the Northeast, more specifically Boston, how do you feel about the outlook for 2021? Do you expect any dip in the prices of multis or apartments?
My theory is people are looking to move outside of cities to an area of more space and less restriction. I also feel that with more people working remotely, corporations will downsize their expensive downtown Boston offices.
Let me know your thoughts!
@Vincent D'Amato Thats an interesting topic and I was having a conversation with a family friend who was preparing to put up a 75 unit apartment building in East Boston early this year and he stopped all his movement on it. He was asking me questions about my work situation and what my company (large technology firm) was doing for office space and what my colleagues were doing for living. I do think people are moving out of the traditional southie/dorchester/eastie areas but there was such high demand before that vacancy may not be a huge issue but rents are likely down. I personally don't own any property there but I think we may see a small decline and then when things begin to normalize, an upwards motion back to where we were. When all this will happen is the multi-million dollar question.
Best of luck!
Hi Vincent - I sort of agree with Brendon here. Boston is small so the demand will always be there. Besides a worldwide pandemic, Boston just doesn't see much dips. Once we get back into the swing of things, we'll be getting all the students, hospital workers and generally all the urban people back into the inner city. Even with more remote working, there are many reasons why people like to live in the city. The walkability here to great restaurants and attractions can't be beat. I've 6 condos in the North End, Southie, Back Bay areas and taken a decrease in rent for 2 of them. My more savvy tenants who were renewing their leases squeezed it out of me since there was so much inventory out there now and at much lower rents.
As for sales, I've not seen it slow down much at all - Likely because of the interest rates. However, I will say that you may be able to find more motivated sellers who don't or can't deal with the current vacancies agreeing to a lower price than they would've pre-covid.
Now is the time to invest in the south coast specifically New Bedford or Fall River, once in a life time thing when the train is coming back to the last two cheap multi family cities in the state "to my knowledge" 3-4 multi family for $300-400k prices will increase across the board when you can take the T to work in Boston then come home and live in a SFH with land and on the water for 1/2 or 1/3 of what you would pay for a 1-2 bedroom apartment in Boston. So regardless of covid, if you buy now once the project is completed in 2023 you can unload and make some money if you only want a short Investment of course there's good/bad areas in each city so driving the properties especially around midnight is key. Just my take, good luck!
I appreciate the insight - that will be a great addition to that area. I have noticed the pretty affordable price point in that region but I have always been weary of the high crime rates. I will give it another look! Thank you.
@Roger Evans I was driving through New Bedford on Monday, originally went down there to pick up a slab of granite, but drove through a little of the area. It reminds me a lot of gloucester in that its a big fishing town, relatively blue collar but not as nice as the North Shore area and a little further away from the city. However, has that MBTA project been approved? I know theyve been talking about it for years but I saw very little construction going on in the parts that I drove through, which I would imagine I would see a lot to apartment buildings or warehouses for condos if that MBTA project had been approved.
@Vincent D'Amato My hunch is that we'll see prices flat in the most in-demand / desirable neighborhoods, and perhaps a dip in the condo unit prices in the neighborhoods or neighboring cities that people look toward when they can't afford where they really want to live. Here in Southie, there is more inventory that we've seen in quite some time, but not a ton of downward pressure just yet. But it could be a good buying opportunity because rates are so low and sellers should be willing to negotiate.
That could all change if/when the eviction moratorium is lifted -or- when the spring market hits and if droves of buyers enter the market this spring. Each of those situations will cause a different result, depending upon your perspective as a buyer or seller.
Surburban markets will likely have another strong year because again, rates are low and people who didn't land properties last year remember the competition and will be extra motivated.
I don't see multis taking a dip in any of those situations. Too many developers floating around bidding one another up and snatching properties the second they appear.
I look at the laws in Massachusetts and couldn’t imagine investing. It seems like a 6 month affair to get a tenant evicted in MA. The tenant seems to have more free legal advice and more protections than I can stomach. For me commuting to mass during Covid has been the easiest I have seen. most of my coworkers have no interest in returning to the office full time so I think you’ll see a big push from employees to stay home for years to come.
@Vincent D'Amato I think prices in Boston and the surrounding suburbs SHOULD decrease. We monitor and present the raw MLS data every month as part of our virtual meetup and there has certainly been a shift in active inventory in Boston proper. Active multi-family listings are way up this year compared to this time last year in Suffolk county. If supply is up and demand is down that should impact the market significantly. That being said we're seeing ABSOLUTLY Multi-family no inventory in the surrounding cities and prices are way up compared to last year. We have an office in Lowell and when we compared the prices on average Lowell is up 20% from last year with a serious lack of inventory. Unless inventory opens up in a big way I think we're in for another very strong sellers spring market.
It's an interesting subject, one I've broached with other agents as frequently as I can; consensus among those who seem less emotional about the market is that Boston is a different city then it was in 08; albeit dramatically much more financially stable. Ergo while pricing may dip within Boston proper, it's relative, and although multi's may dip when we see the moratorium lifted but it'll be a blip. As stated above, I think Boston and Greater Boston markets are stable... to add, and this is just my .02 worth- Boston has easy access to green-space, easy access to other States, or hitting the Cape etc.... and, we didn't see the same level of civil unrest some other major cities have seen. All those elements add to a very stable market, relatively speaking.