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What’s the status of the Boston real estate for sale market? Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market?

Americans believe it’s a much better time to sell a home than to buy one, according to Fannie Mae’s latest survey of home purchase sentiment. This marks the first time in the survey’s 10-year history that has happened.

The monthly survey of about 1,000 homeowners and renters showed that more people thought April was a bad time to buy a home than a good time, the first time that’s happened in the survey’s 10-year history.

The survey uses the Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) to track consumers’ housing-related attitudes, intentions and perceptions using six questions from the National Housing Survey (NHS) regarding homebuying sentiment, selling sentiment, home price expectations, mortgage rate expectations, job concerns and household income.

In April, the net share of homebuyers and renters who said it’s a good time to buy fell 14% month over month, becoming negative for the first time in the survey’s history. Last month, 47% of respondents thought it was a good time to buy, down from 53% in March. Those who said it was a bad time to buy jumped from 40% in March to 48% in April.

This can largely be attributed to market competition from diminishing inventory and soaring home prices, despite improving economic conditions, especially for less-affluent buyers.

“Consumers in the household income range of $50,000 to $100,000, a range inclusive of the Census Bureau’s reported median household income level, showed a particularly large decrease in overall housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist, in a press release. “We know that the housing market serving the affordable segment has been particularly competitive.”

He added that recent data does not indicate that inventory is likely to improve any time soon and these sentiments are likely to stick around for quite some time.

On the other hand, the net percentage of consumers who say it’s a good time to sell increased 8%, consistent with recent upward trends and is back to its pre-pandemic peak. More than two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents agreed it’s a good time to sell right now, up from March (61%).

The survey also reported that most Americans (54%) expect mortgage rates to rise in the next 12 months, while 7% expect them to go down and 33% expect them to stay the same.

Nearly half (49%) expect home prices to continue to climb in the next 12 months, 17% expect prices to go down, and 27% expect prices to stay the same.

About 80% of respondents said they don’t have concerns about losing their job in the next year, which is a positive for homebuying demand.

Regarding household income, a majority of respondents (57%) don’t expect their income to change in the next 12 months, while 16% expect it to decrease and 7% expect it to increase.

After considering all these factors, the HPSI decreased to 79.0 in April (down 2.7 points). The index hit a record-low of 63.0 in April 2020, as the housing market was still suffering from the dawn of the pandemic.

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Low Boston condo for sale inventory, whether due to a hesitation to sell during the Covid-19 pandemic or other market factors, has driven housing prices up and made the market more competitive for buyers.

That means that borrowers who may have been approved for a loan at the beginning of the year could now face an uphill battle.

Online loan marketplace Lending Tree looked at where homebuyers are the most competitive, based on the share of buyers with credit scores over 720, average down payment percentage, and share of buyers who try to secure a mortgage before they buy a house.

Boston Real Estate Downpayment

The average down payment for the most competitive buyers (top 11 metros) was 21.4%, with nearly 71% of buyers having credit scores of 720 or higher. Among these buyers, 72% shopped for a mortgage before looking for a house.

Among the least competitive buyers, the average down payment was 18.5%, and the percentage of buyers with higher credit scores, 63%. Around 60% of potential buyers in the 10 least competitive metros pre-shopped for mortgages.

See how the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States ranked here.


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Original Boston Real Estate Blog Post

What’s the status of the Boston real estate for sale market? Is it a buyers or seller’s market?l Sales of Boston condos increased in September in the Boston for September compared with the year before, according to a new report from the Boston real estate research firm the Warren Group and the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.

The concern for many sellers in Boston— is the Boston condo for sale prices were in many areas of downtown Boston were down. And there were generally more Boston condos for sale for prospective buyers to choose from in September than the previous year at the same time.

These new Boston real estate stats have some wondering the unimaginable a year ago—might we be turning in favor of buyers.

One thing is certain the Boston real estate bidding wars have cooled off with the Fall season

As for Boston-area condos, the median sales price was $549,000 in September, down 4.1 percent from September 2018 and 3.5 percent from August. However, Boston condo sales were up annually 3.4 percent, to 790. They were down month to month— by more than 32 percent.

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Boston real estate sales chart

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Soucre: The Warren Group