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Values Compared to Last Year
Did Values Change?
The "slump in the market" repeatedly referred to in the media has definitely reversed itself in Needham during calender year 2015 and on into the first three quarters of 2016. 

The Needham Assessors conducted a DOR mandated triennial revaluation review during FY 2015. With strict oversite from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue a comprehensive review and statistical analysis of all sales from calendar year 2013 was done to ensure that the values of unsold properties in Needham reflected what was taking place in the Needham real estate market during calendar year 2013. This statistical analysis was thoroughly reviewed, and officially certified, by the Department of Revenue before they permitted the issuance of the third quarter (December 2014) tax bill. Adjustments for the FY 17 values, were based on a comprehensive review, with appropriate adjustments made, to reflect market activity from calendar year 2015 sales. The majority of the upward movement for that period was in the condo market.

Effects on Residential Property Values

The average residential single family property value increased 1.6% to $843,912. This year's assessments represent the market value of properties as of January 1, 2016, and reflect the continuation of a very strong residential market in Needham. It is important to note that while the average single family home value increased by 1.6%, there are individual differences in valuation changes among neighborhoods and different types of property. In some neighborhoods, recent sales have resulted in value increases of greater or lesser than 1.6%.

Other neighborhoods have experienced stable year to year values, while still other areas have decreased slightly in value. Older properties with limited maintenance and/or improvements had been adjusted in value in some areas to reflect a possible reluctance of developers to invest as they once did in properties to be demolished for new construction. This downward trend, based on more recent sales data of "teardown" properties, appears to be reversing itself dramatically. On the other hand, new high end properties, while taking longer to sell in some cases, are still rising in their market value, while resale value of early 1990's high end homes has slipped slightly in some areas. Downward adjustments, albeit less dramatic, were also made for  four years running to many of Needham's older, larger condominium complexes. Based on the calendar year 2015 and 2016 sales market data, that trend appears to have reversed itself emphatically as well.

Sales data from January to November of 2016 reflects a further minimal decrease in the median sale price of single family homes in Needham. This is a leveling off from the 7.4% increase in calendar 2014 and 5% jump in 2015. Early analysis of calendar 2016 residential sales indicates a stable "seller's" market overall is continuing. In addition to the market driven uptick of overall prices, a noticeable price jump in a large number of "teardown" land sales warranted an adjustment to some neighborhood land values during the fiscal year of 2015 revaluation. This trend also appears to be continuing, but it appears in some cases, buyers, actually intending to live in the existing home on the property, are outbidding "Teardown" builders as a result of losing "bidding wars" for properties in other towns with even higher values than Needham.