Boston Starting 2016 Strong in Real Estate Market

By GBAR, Special for  USDR

With steady housing demand and a healthy economy, the Greater Boston housing market experienced an overall increase in residential property sales during January, as sales for detached single-family homes rose to a new record level for the month. Additionally, sales of condominiums increased on a month-to-month basis for a third consecutive month according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®  (GBAR).

Sales of detached single-family homes improved on an annual basis for an eighth consecutive month in January, and increased 17.9 percent on the January 2015 total of 717 homes sold to a new record 845 homes sold in January 2016. This sales volume surpassed the previous January record of homes sold in Greater Boston from 2005 of 816 homes sold. Additionally, condo sales saw a sharp increase on a year-to-year basis in January, with a 22.4 percent improvement from 486 units sold in January 2015 to 595 last month. This increase represents the highest total condos sold in Greater Boston since January  2007.

“Last month’s sales figures are indicative of a positive start to 2016, as we saw an overall 19.7 percent closed sales increase on January of last year,” said GBAR President Andrew Sarno, Broker Associate with RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services in Medford. “A healthy local job market has continued to drive buyer demand and as a result, prices and home values remained strong for the month of  January.”

Sales prices in both markets fluctuated slightly, as the single-family median sales price rose from $485,500 in January 2015 to$490,000 last month, an increase of 0.9 percent. The condo market sales price dipped from the record-high median sales price of$447,000 in 2015 to $440,000 last month. Although this reflects a 1.6 percent decrease, last month saw the second highest median sales price in history in Greater Boston and given the increase in overall sales, reflects a higher concentration of entry-level condos sold this year, as sales of units valued at under $400,000 rose 13 percent from year ago  levels.

Inventory continues to be the biggest hindrance in the Greater Boston housing market, as numbers in both markets fell last month. Single-family home inventory dropped 11.7 percent to 2,018 listings last month compared to 2,285 in January 2015, while condo inventory fell 6 percent from 1,291 in January 2015 to 1,213 last  month.

“We have noticed that low inventory across the board has affected some buyers, as the prevalence of multiple offer situations as well as the desire to buy now before a potential price increase has put some pressure on buyers,” added Sarno. “However, buyer motivation remains high and last month’s pending sales numbers indicate that buyers are still very  active.”

Pending sales in the single-family detached home market increased from 710 in January 2015, to 744 last month, indicating an increase of 4.8 percent. The condo market experienced a more drastic increase in its year-to-year pending sales, as those totals increased to 688 last month up from 549 in January 2015, a 25.3 percent increase from the previous  year.

SOURCE Greater Boston Association of  REALTORS(R)

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