Strong buyer demand and an overall healthy economic environment in Greater Boston led to steady sales and all-time record prices for both the single-family and condominium markets in August, according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Despite a decrease in overall sales in both markets from last August, each marketplace finished with above or near historical average sales volume for the month. Sales of single-family detached homes dropped on an annual basis in August as 1,704 units were sold compared to 1,710 units sold in August 2015. This 0.4 percent drop in sales remains well above the historical average of 1,461 for August and is the third highest total on record for August. The condo market also experienced a modest decline in sales as the 1,200 condos sold last month fell short of last August’s total of 1,251. A 4.1 percent decline, this is the eighth highest sales total for the month and sits just short of the historical average sales total of 1,212 for the month.
“The market was extremely busy last month and we did not experience the normal lull in activity as we often do in August. These steady sales totals are indicative of the continued buyer confidence and activity in Greater Boston as well as the desirability to live here,” says GBAR President Andrew Sarno, Broker Associated with RE/MAX Andrew Realty in Medford. “We’ve also seen increased prices and a shrinking inventory in our region, so it is encouraging to see this amount of buyer activity despite median sales prices continuing to rise to all-time highs.”
Indeed, the median sales price for single-family detached homes remained stable at the all-time high monthly median price of $575,000, a record which we first saw in July. This indicates an 8.7 percent increase from the August 2015 median sales prices on $528,900. Likewise, the median sales price for condos rose 9.7 percent from $456,000 last August to establish a new all-time record high median price of $499,000 in August 2016.
“Surprisingly, this continuation of record-high prices has not caused buyer confidence or activity in our region to diminish. Although, we are seeing a trend of some entry-level buyers being priced out,” adds Sarno. “Sellers should also feel confident putting their houses on the market as the inventory shortage has led to a prevalence of competitive situations and bidding wars which have kept sale prices high, indicated by the increase of homes sold at or above their original listing price.”
The decline in inventory in both markets continues to be the most staggering statistic. In the single-family market, inventory dropped 28.1 percent from the 3,593 homes for sale in August 2015 to 2,585 last month. Similarly, the condo market inventory took a 24.9 percent decrease with 1,360 condos listed last month compared to 1,811 the previous year.
Despite short supply, pending sales for both markets rose last month. Single-family pending sales increased 5.5 percent from 1,122 to 1,184 and pending sales for condos jumped up 11.3 percent to 907 from 815 last August.
For more information, visit http://www.gbreb.com/gbar.