John Ranco, a senior sales associate for Hammond Residential Real Estate in Boston’s South End, said many homeowners who couldn’t sell their properties during the recession turned to renting, which currently can be a lucrative source of income in the city. In addition, he said, more Boston residents also have decided to stay in their current homes, lessening the opportunities for newcomers.
Also, thousands of homeowners are still plagued by a recession hangover. Despite the recent upturn, Boston-area home values are down nearly 16 percent since their peak in 2005. So many homeowners owe more to lenders than their properties could fetch for sale.
Other potential sellers are simply doing what some do every year — waiting for the snow to clear. “No one likes muddy boots tramping through their houses,’’ Ranco said.
Meanwhile, real estate agents are becoming more aggressive about targeting sellers.
Steve Mehigan, manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Waltham, said his agents are reaching out to homeowners who unsuccessfully tried to sell their properties with other real estate offices. Sometimes his agents will show up at a homeowner’s door to let them know multiple buyers are interested in their property.
“Our buyer appetite is absolutely voracious,” Mehigan said.
Brian Montgomery, a buyer’s agent with Charlesgate Realty Group in Boston, was so frustrated by his inability to find suitable homes for his clients that he recently published a blog post titled: “Desperately seeking sellers.” It included a wish list of nearly two dozen Boston-area homes his clients would like to buy.
Montgomery listed properties in Brookline, Boston, and Cambridge. “We’re hoping that by publishing this list, an owner may wake up from their amnesia,” he wrote, “and realize they actually want to sell their property!”
For Emily Glass, 33, of Arlington, it’s not amnesia that is keeping her in her Arlington condominium. She just doesn’t see any place better. “There is really nothing available,” Glass said.
Krause, the Roslindale condo dweller, said properties she’s toured over the last few months are either too small or lack a yard. But she also gets the irony of her situation — while she searches for the perfect home, her family’s condo remains off the market and out of play for some other prospective buyer.
“Right now, I need some people like me to let their places go,” she said.