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Stressed by rising home prices?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 21, 2012 06:59 AM

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Fear that prices are on the rise again may be one factor pushing buyers into the market.

Buyers are now more concerned about rising prices than the state of the economy, according to
Redfin’s fourth quarter market survey.

Roughly a third of the 1,000 buyers polled by Redfin, or 33 percent, say rising home prices is a major concern, compared to 22 percent who cited the economy.

That’s quite a role reversal. Just a few months back in the third quarter, 27 percent cited the sluggish economy as a prime concern, compared to 23 percent who cited rising prices.
In fact, the vast majority of home buyers quizzed by Redfin – 71 percent - believe prices in their own neighborhoods will be headed up over the next year. That may be the biggest shift of all – just 34 percent felt that way at the start of the year.

That all said, it really depends on where you are looking. The more expensive and coveted suburbs in the Boston area are already back or near their bubble years’ price peaks. Yet at the same time, there are middle-class suburbs and towns where prices are still down and even falling.

Here's my recent post on towns where buyers have the edge - it's led by tiny Hanover down on the South Shore and Foxborough on the Boston to Providence I-95 corridor.

The big question, whether you are looking in Wellesley or Walpole, though, is whether there are enough half-decent homes on the market to meet current demand, and the answer to that is increasingly no.

The top concern of buyers remains low inventory, with 59 percent citing it as a major stress factor, Redfin finds.

Are you looking to buy now before prices start taking off? Or is this just more real estate industry fear mongering?
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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