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Monday, April 16, 2012

Charlestown Real Estate Update

More bad news from Zillow.com
By Will Collette

This is getting to be a big drag – for yet another month, Zillow.com shows that Charlestown home values fell again, this time by 2% from last month’s average of $302,900. The new average home value is now $296,800.

The last time we were this low was July 2003.

Compared to last year, Charlestown home values have fallen by 8.4%.

If you are trying to sell your home, expect to get a lot less than you want for it, and to wait longer for it to sell. If you want to borrow on your home equity, you might not have any left.




The sole Charlestown rental
listed on Zillow.com, $1,495
Breaking a long-running streak of no year-round rentals in Charlestown, Zillow.com now shows one, a home on Thomas Street, available for rent starting in June for $1495 a month.

Charlestown is not one single market, so looking at average sales prices can be deceptive. Take a look at the lively market in properties around the Fort Neck Pond area of Ninigret, which includes Arnolda.

In Arnolda alone, there have been four recent million-dollar-plus sales, and on the other side of the pond, there were three more million-plus sales.

Contrast those big-ticket sales with the much lower prices fetched by properties North of One, where values have been plummeting and homes languish for months on the market.

It’s hard to compete when you’re up against bargain-basement prices on bank-owned, “distressed” and “pre-foreclosure” properties.

As you can see in Realtytrac.com’s map of the Charlestown real estate market, the market is glutted with bank-owned and foreclosed properties.

From Realtytrac.com: the competition - foreclosed homes on the market

Our Town Council majority doesn’t see the Charlestown real estate picture for what it is. I believe that is largely because they don’t live it, or have much to do with it. Though the Town Council did not cause this problem – the bursting real estate bubble and national recession did – they have yet to propose any creative town responses to the damage this has done to our local economy.

When I look at the real estate picture these data present, I see the need for more affordable rental properties and I see the need for broad-based middle-class tax relief.

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