February 28, 2006
Chat about Jan. 2006 home sales in Boston / Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors is expected to post January sales statistics to their web site sometime around noon today. To help make sense of them, The Real Estate Cafe is hosting four chats through the day which the public can join as a guest (if you are unable to see any graphics when you enter the chat room, try clicking on the link below):
Bubble Hour #1: Noon to 1pm
Bubble Hour #2: 6:30 to 7:30pm
If there is interest, we'll do this one in person at Borders Bookstore Cafe @ CambridgeSide Galleria tonight or maybe tomorrow. Please RSVP in advance so we can make that decision.
Bubble Hour #3: 8:00pm to 9pm
We anticipate the largest number of participants for this Bubble Hour, including a special guest from one of that state registry of deeds who will share some statistics for February, three weeks ahead of the Mass. Association of Realtors release their own.
Bubble Hour #4: 11pm to midnight
We have a number of people who house hunt just before heading to bed so to accommodate them, we'll host one more bubble hour today
We've already begun posting some content on line, and invite your comments and questions here or in the chat room. One note of caution: overall market statistics, like those being released today by the Mass. Association of Realtors, are often too broad to translate into meaningful information at the local level. That's one of the reasons chat participants with different perspectives --- both geographically and with respect to their opinion about the housing bubble -- are welcome. (As always, you can also call our reader line to record your own sound bite: 617-876-2117 for potential use in a future podcast.)
February 23, 2006
Boston bubble bloggers begin meeting OFFLINE
Fellow Boston bubble bloggers,
Over the past few months, a number of us have corresponded about getting together OFFLINE with other bubble bloggers in Boston / New England. If getting together for one or both of the proposed events below make sense to you and your blog readers, feel free to pass this on or link to it.
1st Boston bubble blogger meeting: Exploratory meeting for "citizen journalists"
Several Boston bubble bloggers have confirmed their participation in the following. If your schedule permits, join us for any of these three:
1. Starbucks (Mass. Ave & Wendell St. in Cambridge) from 6:30-6:55pm;
2. Berkman Center (see link for location) from 7:00pm to 8:00 or 8:30pm.
3. Optional discussion over coffee / dinner afterwards, (Maybe Darwin's, JohnnyDs, or another location. Call cell phone 617-388-5818 to confirm.)
Berkman's guest speaker from Newsvine should help all of us get more visibility for our individual blogs and enhance our mutual goal, as independent citizen journalists, of informing consumers about real estate market trends in Greater Boston / Massachusetts.
2nd Bubble Blogger meeting: Reviewing & analyzing MAR stats
The Mass. Association of Realtors (MAR) will be releasing their data on January sales on Tuesday, Febuary 28th. Should we get together the same day or the day after to review and analyze their statement and what some are now commonly calling their "spin"?
I think we should invite the public to participate in this meeting,
and even extend an open invitation to MAR, real estate professionals,
and sellers who do NOT think there is a real estate bubble. (FYI - MAR
released a statement yesterday entitled, "Bay State housing market shows signs of returning to normal."
Ideally, we could meet somewhere with a wifi connection for laptops. Better still would be a venue with a wall-sized projection screen. I have a projector and screen, any suggestions for venues?
1. Cambridge: Darwin's, wifi but no projection screen room;
2. A hotel near MAR, easily accessible from Route 128 & Mass Pike (would require fee of about $150, but we might be able to get a sponsor or ask participants to share the cost);
3. Other possible locations? Please post in comments below, or send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, you can call our reader line at 617-876-2117 to record a comment for potential use in a future podcast.
February 17, 2006
Survey results: Where are housing prices headed in 2006?
It's good to be posting original content to The Real Estate Cafe's blog again after our second bout of bloggers block. Like the first time, the slump lasted for nearly 50 days but this time we had an excuse: we've been waiting for enough responses to go public with our 2006 homebuyer survey. The first graph appears above, and if you click on the image to enlarge it, the results speak for themselves.
We'll post more results in coming days, as well as commentary on the findings and their potential implications for homebuyers and sellers in Greater Boston. The survey is closed at this point, but you can comment online or by record a sound bite, for potential use our real estate bubble audio time capsule (a.k.a. podcast), by calling on our reader line: 617-876-2117.
Event planning: Discuss housing bubble and survey results in person with other homebuyers & sellers
More than 40% of the survey respondents said they would like a monthly (or bi-weekly) update on the real estate bubble, and we have already corresponded with several other bloggers in New England -- LowellDeeds.com, BostonBubble.com, and MassHouseMarket.blogspot.com -- about getting together offline to exchange perspectives with the public. Would Thursday night meetings in Cambridge work for everyone? Your feedback is welcome below or by emailing us privately at RECafe@mac.com