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Values Compared to Last Year
Did Values Change?
The "slump in the market" repeatedly referred to in the media never really affected Needham except to level off the ever upward spiral for two years before the market surged ahead again in years 2015 and 2016 on into the first three quarters of 2017. 

The Needham Assessors conducted a DOR mandated interim year review during FY 2018. With strict oversite from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, a comprehensive review and statistical analysis of all sales from calendar year 2016 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 2016. This statistical analysis was thoroughly reviewed, and officially certified, by the Department of Revenue before they permitted the issuance of the third quarter (December 2017) tax bill. Adjustments for the FY 18 values, were based on a comprehensive review, with appropriate adjustments made, to reflect market activity from calendar year 2016 sales. The majority of the upward movement for that period was in the residential market.

Effects on Residential Property Values

The average residential single family property value increased 7.2% to $904,827. This year's assessments represent the market value of properties as of January 1, 2017, 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 7.2%, there are individual differences in valuation changes among neighborhoods and different types of property. In some neighborhoods, recent sales and changes to the cost tables used to determine building values have resulted in value increases of greater or lesser than 7.2%.

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 2017 reflects a healthy increase in the median sale price of single family homes in Needham. This is a return to "normal" for the Needham market of recent years following a leveling off in 2016 from the 7.4% increase in calendar 2014 and 5% jump in 2015. Early analysis of calendar 2017 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.Their is no definitive evidence as of yet as to the effect recently passed zoning regulations on teardown land values.