5 Reasons Why Boston Housing Prices Will Remain Strong
1. Lending Has Been Strict Since 2008
Talk to anyone who has purchased a home since 2008, they will share with you how difficult it is to be approved for a loan. The lending process is stringent, and majority of buyers who have purchased since the housing crisis were extremely well qualified. These stricter lending requirements has drastically reduced the probability of foreclosures or short sales.
2. Higher Down Payments
Due to stricter lending, many buyers over the past decade have had higher down payments. The 2008 housing crisis was a direct result of predatory lending. Many buyers had low down payments, if any downpayment at all. In 2008, many owners walked away from their properties easily because they had no financial investment in the property itself. This created an oversupply of foreclosures and distressed properties to the market. Property owners who invested greater funds at time of purchase are more likely to "fight" to keep their home, even during times of financial difficulty.
3. High Equity
Majority of owners today have high equity in their homes. In the past 5 years, the median sales price for a condo in Boston has increased 20.83%. From the past 10 years, it has increased 76.82%. (Source: MLS Total Sold Market Statistics) This high equity is greater protection for sellers and provides sellers with more financial options during times of distress. Unlike in 2008, when many sellers owed more on their mortgage, than the home's actual value.
4. Record Low Interest Rates
Majority of homeowners are locked in at record low interest rates, as low as 2-3%. These low rates have made payments very affordable for most homeowners. Many homeowners are choosing not to sell due how low their monthly payment is. This is keeping housing inventory levels lower, while keeping housing demand high. Even in this current market which is slower than typical, we still have an inventory shortage. The bidding wars may have slowed down, providing buyers more options than they've had, but there is still an inventory shortage.
5. High Rent
Rent in Boston is extremely high. Owners today have much stronger leverage than they did in 2008. With high equity in their properties, with low monthly payments from historically low interest rates, property owners can easily wait out market conditions by renting out their property, rather than selling below market value. Essentially, majority of property owners in city have great cash flowing investment properties.