The perception of Revere being a city on the move has provided a great new branding for the City, but now some believe that the local real estate market is providing some positive new numbers to back up that new brand.
Real Estate professionals in the City are reporting that the market is very different and difficult to predict, but really on the upswing for those who are selling their homes. That comes after years of double-digit declines in housing prices and a market that had a glut of bank-owned and foreclosed properties that only moved through short sales. At one time, Revere had become the poster child for everything that was wrong with the once-booming Greater Boston housing market.
Now, though, there are nearly no rental units on the market, and any that are on the market are very high priced.
Agents are seeing people from other areas of the state making buy offers on Beach properties and properties in the neighborhoods.
Short sales are on the decline, and the small inventory of properties for sale is moving quickly and at good prices.
Even the Boston Globe – which has historically loved to pound Revere’s image – recently named the City as one of 13 hot and up-and-coming communities in the state.
“Right now we have no inventories on the rental side and very small inventories on the for sale side,” said Realtor Maureen Celata of M. Celata Real Estate. “It’s really a nutty market…We definitely aren’t doing as many short sales, which is positive. In 2007 and 2008 probably 80 percent of our business was short sales because a lot of people just couldn’t break out even. To get out from under homes that were worth less than what was owed, they had to do short sales. Now, we’re only doing about 15 percent of our business on short sales. That’s a marked improvement…I see that there are a lot of ethnic groups moving in. The face of Revere – like all other cities and towns – is changing. There are just a lot more people out there who are buying.”
Laura D’Amico of Century 21 D’Amico on Pleasant Street said it was about time that Revere got its due.
“Our housing market is really very, very attractive right now,” she said. “We’re seeing multiple offers on all properties – both single-families and multi-families. I just had an open house for a property on Winthrop Parkway last weekend and got an offer before the open house. We’re looking at that potentially being sold in one day and for a price in the high $500,000s. We’re really seeing a lot of fabulous activity and I’m extremely excited.”
She said that Revere’s market has become popular to all types of people in all stages of life – whether immigrants with young families or empty nesters who grew up in Revere and moved away.
“I think people are finally realizing Revere is a very, very wonderful place to live in,” she said. “With the high test scores in the schools, the beauty of the Beach and the new economic development coming along, there is a desire to come here. There are young families, older people who are moving back to the community after moving away to raise children in the suburbs – they all want to locate in Revere. I’ve even got people relocating here from western Massachusetts.”
One of the big reasons that the City is on the rebound is the positive message that has been trumpeted to those outside the city by the new administration. Specifically, events such as last year’s Economic Development Summit have drawn bigger developers to the area, which in turn drives individual interest in local real estate as the perception of Revere as a “diamond in the rough” gains momentum.
Such perceptions were validated by the recent Globe article, which reported that the median price of a single-family home in Revere has increased by 9.6 percent since 2011. Even better than that was the fact that condos in Revere have increase by 19 percent since 2011.
“The positive story in the Boston Globe validates my belief that Revere truly is a city on the rise and will soon become one of the North Shore’s most desirable places to live and work in,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo. “With all we have to offer, proximity to downtown Boston and Logan Airport, our 2 1/2 miles crescent shaped beach, and aggressive reinvestment into our aging infrastructure, Revere is and continues to be a city on the move.”
Revere Economic Development Director Joe Festa said the City’s efforts to invest on Broadway and to spread the message to out-of-town developers about specific properties “ripe for development” has generated a lot of talk about Revere. That has created the idea that Revere will be the next sleeping giant to awaken in the Greater Boston real estate market.
“I think it’s a combination of things happening,” said Festa. “We’re prepared to spend $2 million to revitalize the infrastructure on Broadway and there are a lot of developers who are looking to change Revere Beach…Between Broadway, the gaming facility that might be coming, the Revere Beach development and now a positive real estate market, I really believe Revere is on the radar screen for development. We’re very clear with developers when the come in and we make sure they have a good experience. In the next 10 years, Revere is going to change in such a positive way that there will be a major transition.”
So far, the City’s investment and positive image campaign has resulted in some modest gains in the local housing market – so that what was a dismal investors-only market has turned into a true sellers market.
“I just don’t want to see things get over inflated like years ago,” said Celata. “My only message right now is for people sitting on the fence about selling their home. Now is a good time to sell because interest rates for mortgages are way down and we don’t know how long that’s going to last. If someone is sitting on the fence, now’s the time to jump off.”