Less new homes featuring fireplaces

With fall here and the cooler air coming‚ it’s time for many New Englanders to cozy up to their home fireplaces. Or is it? Take a look at this National Association of Home Builders survey1:

  • Of the single-family homes built in New England in 2018‚ less than half (48%) had fireplaces.
  • Nationwide‚ there’s also been a steady decline in fireplaces: just 41% of new construction had this feature. The Middle Atlantic (57%) built the most‚ followed by West North Central (56%).
  • Homes costing $500‚000–$999,000 had more fireplaces (65%) than $1 million-plus properties (60%).

I hope you find this information to be helpful. Here’s to a great week.

1Paul Emrath‚ “Share of new homes with fireplaces drops to record low‚” Eye on Housing Blog‚ last updated September 16‚ 2019.


Bidding wars on the decline

The Boston metro area may be one of the country’s most competitive markets‚ but compared to one year ago‚ late summer was significantly more buyer friendly. Here are the numbers from a recent Redfin analysis1:

  • Fifteen percent of Boston-area offers submitted by Redfin agents faced competition in August. However‚ in August 2018‚ a whopping 60.1% of offers were up against rival bids.
  • Competitive offers were down 3.7% from one month earlier.
  • Boston ranked fourth in the country for percentage of competitive offers‚ behind San Francisco (31%)‚ San Diego (18.4%)‚ and Las Vegas (17.1%).

Capstone Mortgage is here to help with your customers’ home financing needs. Please contact me if you have questions.

1Dana Olsen‚ “Ten percent of Redfin offers faced bidding wars in August‚ a new eight-year low‚” Redfin‚ last updated September 4‚ 2019.



Halloween fun facts

In honor of a truly unique holiday‚ here is Halloween-related trivia1:

  • Both Salem‚ Massachusetts‚ and Anoka‚ Minnesota‚ are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.
  • Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween. Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain‚ which marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
  • In 2013‚ Keene‚ New Hampshire‚ set a Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns with 30‚581 (breaking a record held by Boston).

However you celebrate‚ I hope the holiday is safe and festive. Happy Halloween.

1Karin Lehnardt‚ “41 spooky facts about Halloween‚” Fact Retriever‚ last updated August 20‚ 2016.



Smart home gadgets in demand

Sixty percent of home shoppers said they would pay extra for high-tech amenities like a smart thermostat‚ security cameras or a smart lock.1 However‚ the preferred technology varies‚ depending on demographics:

  • Smart thermostats are mostly wanted by young singles and couples.
  • Families prefer smart garages (with features like app controls and voice commands).
  • Smart locks are favored by older buyers.

Overall‚ 53% of builders said they integrate smart technology into new homes. I hope you find this industry information helpful.

1“Smart-home gadgets buyers will pay extra to have‚” REALTOR® Magazine‚ last updated August 27‚ 2018.



New England opts for vinyl

Vinyl is the most common siding for new US homes – as well as the preferred choice for new construction in New England.1 According to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction:

  • Vinyl was used on 27% of new homes nationally‚ followed by stucco (25%)‚ brick (21%)‚ and fiber cement (20%).
  • In New England‚ vinyl was applied to 72% of new homes‚ besting the #2 choice: wood (20%).
  • Stucco rules on the West Coast; brick dominates throughout most of the South.

Staying on top of housing market dynamics is essential. Please contact me if you have questions.

1Ashok Chaluvadi‚ “Vinyl and stucco are the most common siding on new homes‚” National Association of Home Builders‚ last updated September 21‚ 2018.