The median sale price of single-family homes in Franklin, MA rose 9.2% in the first quarter of 2021 to $526,500, an all-time high.
Franklin’s median sale price is now $147,500 above where it stood back in the first quarter of 2015. That’s a 39 percent jump. For homeowners in Franklin, it’s a wonderful time to sell . . . if you have somewhere to go! (See end of post for more on this.)
Video detailing real estate market in Franklin during 1st quarter
Watch the above video to get a “what’s in it for me” depiction of the red hot housing market conditions in Franklin, Massachusetts during the initial three months of 2021.
Offers above asking price now the norm
Mirroring fevered market conditions throughout the I-495 region and across much of Massachusetts, bidding wars and over-asking price offers became the expected routine for homes listed in the first quarter of 2021.
In a compelling sign of rising home prices, the percentage of home selling price to original list price exceeded 100% in Franklin for the first time since Franklin sales data started being maintained by MLS-PIN back in the late 1990s.
Very few homes available
Home buyers in Franklin, as in most other communities in Massachusetts, faced appallingly low supplies of homes for sale in the first quarter of 2021. As of April 1, there were only six single-family homes for sale in Franklin, MA.
That’s an absurdly low number of homes for sale in a community of over 34,000 residents with a housing stock of 7,744 single-family homes, according to the town’s assessor records.
That compares to seventeen homes for sale the previous April 1st and, more tellingly, thirty-one homes available on April 1 in 2018 and fifty-one single-family homes for sale in Franklin at the start of April in 2016.
Fractional months of supply
Expressed as months of supply, the picture for beleaguered home buyers in 2021 looks even bleaker.
From nearly nine months of supply in March 2011, the inventory of single-family homes for sale in Franklin this March reached a shockingly low 0.2 months – that’s less than one week of supply!
To give you context: six months of housing supply is considered a real estate market in equilibrium, while four months of available inventory is deemed a sellers’ market. One week of supply denotes a market nearing a lock-up. And don’t think you can go one or two towns over from Franklin and find a lot of homes to buy. The dearth of supply exists in most communities in the Bay State.
What home buyers should expect
What do current market conditions mean to you, if you’re in the market to buy a home?
If you’re planning on buying a home this year, be ready to stand in line outside open houses at new listings. There are very few listings to look at and lots of buyers competing for them. What this means is that you must have a very good real estate professional working on your behalf to find new listings for you and secure the purchase agreement for you very quickly – literally during the first few days the home comes on the market. You should expect to pay at least asking price, if not significantly above asking price, if you seek to bid on homes brand new to the market that seem properly priced.
If a home seems over-priced to you or if it has been sitting unsold for awhile, you should have more negotiating leverage.
Below are select homes in Massachusetts that have been for sale for at least several weeks – some a lot longer:
What home sellers should expect
If you’re selling, what can you expect to experience in the current market? Number one: your home is going to sell very quickly.
Additionally, if you price your home appropriately to the market, with a professional who knows what they’re doing and they market the listing really effectively online, what’s going to happen is that you’re going to have a lot of showings and a lot of competing bids for your home.
A word to the wise: resist the temptation to over-price your property. Even in this market, if you grossly over-price you will not sell!
So if you price the home correctly, you’re likely going to be able to command more than the asking price for your home. It’s a great opportunity to cash out your home equity at historic high prices.
Today’s sellers in two camps
As I wrote near the start of this post, it’s a wonderful time to sell . . . if you have somewhere to go!
Massachusetts home sellers are split into two camps in 2021. The first camp includes older sellers (retirees and those about to retire) along with sellers who already own a second home. These are the big winners in today’s market conditions. Those with second homes already have a place to move to, even if on an interim basis. And older sellers with grown children are in position to trade out to a lower cost area. The sellers in this camp have a lot of equity and are free to sell. They should capitalize on today’s extremely high prices.
It’s a different matter for home sellers in the other camp. These are sellers who have a need to buy back into the same market in which they are selling. They do not have ready access to interim housing. They often have school age kids or other community ties that make them need to stay local. These sellers are faced with the same low inventory and high prices confronting all other buyers.
It’s a real challenge with today’s extremely low housing inventory to find your next home while you sell your current property. Many sellers in this camp get discouraged and end up staying put in their current homes, even though those homes have become too small for them or in some other way do not meet their current needs.
If you fall into this second camp, there are some strategies open to you that will enable you to successfully move. I would be happy to discuss these options with you.
Ask questions to Warren Reynolds
You can use the form below to ask any buying or seller questions to attorney and real estate broker Warren Reynolds. He’s here to help you!
(All Warren asks is that if you are already under contract with another real estate agent, please rely on the advice of that agent.)