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Massachusetts home sales down, but prices are up

Single-family home and condo sales in the Bay State dropped significantly in October, as median prices continued to climb.

Massachusetts single-family home sales fell 21.2% year over year as shrinking inventory levels and record-high prices continued to hold back buyers. 

The Warren Group’s Massachusetts Sales Report for October 2021 found single-family home sales fell to 5,285 from 6,704 a year ago. Compared to October 2019, home sales increased 1%.

The median sale price marked another all-time high for October at $500,000, up from $455,000 last year and up 28.5% from October 2019’s $389,000 price. 

Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said at first glance, the casual observer could think a 21.2% decline in October single-family home sales would be cause for concern, but that’s not necessarily the case. 

“I would point out that the second half of 2020 was an extraordinary six months for home sales due to the disruption to the 2020 spring market by COVID-19,” Warren said in a press release. “October sales this year beat the number in October 2019 and every other October all the way back to 2004. Somehow, despite low inventory, high prices and rising interest rates, homes keep selling at a pretty good clip, and prices continue their upward climb.”

Condominium sales also declined in October, falling 15.8% to 2,089, compared to 2,482 last year and down 1.4% from October 2019. Last month, the median condominium sale price rose 3.7% to $425,000, a new high for the month. The median condo price was up 14.9% from October 2019.  

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“Our three-year condo sales comparison followed trends similar to single-family homes – there was a massive spike in activity in October 2020, but activity has more or less settled and returned to seasonal norms,” Warren said.

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Massachusetts housing market activity falls as median-home prices continue to set records

Sales activity in Massachusetts’ single-family housing market fell in July, even as the median sales price remained over $500,000, according to The Warren Group’s July sales report, which also found that condo activity remained strong.

Single-family home sales declined 7.6% from the previous-year period, with 6,327 sales, compared to 6,849 homes sold in July 2020. Looking back two years, sales declined 1.5%, compared to July 2019’s 6,425 transactions. 

The Bay State’s median single-family home price continued to set new records in July, rising 17.4% from a year earlier to $540,000 and 27.1%  from July 2019. July’s median-home price marked another all-time high for the month and the fourth month in a row of prices above $500,000. 

“The chickens may have finally come home to roost for Massachusetts homebuyers,” The Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said in a press release. “Since the start of the third quarter of 2020, it was apparent that based on the flurry of sales, paired with the ever-shrinking inventory of single-family homes across the state, that it was only a matter of time before we saw sales start to slide on a year-over-year basis.” 

Condominium sales remained strong in July, up 16.5% from a year before, with 2,897 units sold, 5compared to 2,487 in July 2020 and up 17.6% from 2,463 transactions in July 2019.

The median sales price of condos in Massachusetts also continued to rise in July, up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis to $470,000, a new high for the month  and marking the 12th consecutive month of median condo prices above $400,000. Prices were up 20.5% compared to $390,000 in June 2019. 

Warren said that while the condo market continues to be a bright spot in the state’s housing market, he’s curious if the current level of activity is sustainable. 

“Last year COVID concerns held back the condo market as buyers were cautious about multi-unit buildings,” he said. “This year, the buyers have returned, and condos are outperforming single-family homes sales. With the Delta variant now dominant and evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines wearing off, prospective condo buyers may once again turn cautious.”

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Nationally home sales are down, but it’s not because of a lack of demand, it’s because of a lack of supply

The real estate news video above is from CNBC: Detailing newly released data which indicates that it’s getting harder and harder to buy a home or condo in Massachusetts because of a lack of houses for sale

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