And the BIGGEST Losers Are…..

David Bates / April 17, 2012-10:50 am

I have listed below some of the biggest losers in Q1. Losses were based only the sale price and a previous sale price. In all likelihood, these sellers lost even more money maintaining or upgrading their property.

Even owners luxury condos at the Ritz Carlton Condominiums on Avery Street fell victim to the real estate turnaround.

While we have learned that real estate is no longer a sure thing, I think most of the sellers in our market who successfully sold in Q1 actually made money on their home. Others lost a little. I wondered why these homeowners lost so much? Real estate stories can be as individual as snow flakes, but I looked at a few of the property histories and speculated as to what happened.

10 Atkinson, Sudbury might have just picked a bad month to close: August 2008. I wondered if that buyer had the typical buyer mental chatter, “I’m buying at the top of the market and the market will crash as soon as we close.” If they did, they were right, as the economic world changed in September that year.

Why did this home seller lose so much? Was it a bad buy? A bad market? Both?

On the other hand, 36 Plantation, Sudbury, might have been just a bad buy. This home was bought in 2001 for $1.705 million and after a huge run up in the median sale prices of area single family homes, it was listed at a loss for $1.675 million in 2006. It didn’t sell in 2006 and after 500+ days on market the owners took $1.2 million for the home in Q1 this year.

You can make bad buys in a recession too I guess as the buyers of 5 Main, Wenham found out in 2009 when they spent only $1.525 million for a home that was listed for $1.95 million. They probably felt pretty good about that purchase until recently when after more than 300 days on market, this home only sold for $1.075 million in Q1.

In this age of layoffs, short sales and foreclosures, discounts abound when banks are involved in the negotiation as they were for 1 Avery 14E, Boston; 173 Brookline St., Newton; and the biggest loser 1431 Brush Hill, Milton

On the sale side, I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the financial damage could have been mitigated? If these sellers were less greedy or more realistic about market conditions, could they have sold earlier for more? If they were more financially able or socially or professionally stable, could they ride out the bad market? We’ll never find out and that’s what makes these homes among the biggest financial losers for Q1.

Address                                   Yr/Price Purchased     2012 Price                   Loss

1 Avery 14E, Boston                 2006: $630K            $537K                            -$93K*

62 Leighton, Wellesley            2007: $1.2 Mil           $1.1 Mil                       –$100K

16 Upton #1, South End         2007: $1.155 Mil       $1.050 Mil                   -$105K

10 Atkinson Lane, Sudbury    2008: 1.15                   $980K                         -$135K

220 Boylston 1118, Back Bay  2007: $1.895               $1.74 Mil                   -$155K

173 Brookline St, Newton      2005: $970K               $800K                         -$170K*

27 Boyden, Medfield               2005: $1.275                 $1.1 Mil                     -$175K

36 Hampshire, Sudbury          2006: $1.25                 $1.03 Mil                     -$220K

221 Columbus 703, Boston    2002: $1.875               $1.625 Mil                   -$250K

175 Commonwealth D            2004: $2.116               $1.725 Mil                   -$391K

5 Main Drive, Wenham           2008: $1.525               $1.075 Mil                   -$450K

36 Plantation, Sudbury           2001: $1.705                 $1.2 Mil                       -$505K

1431 Brush Hill, Milton          1999: $1.827                  $1.21 Mil                     -$617K*


*Denotes short sale or foreclosed property.