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MA Single Family Home Sales in January Rise to Highest Since 2007

Thursday, February 27, 2014

 

Separate reports conducted by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Warren Group of Boston show that the housing market in January of this year has improved from the same period last year. Although the reports use different methods of compiling data, both show that the sale of single family homes in the month of January is at its highest level since 2007.

The Warren Group, a Boston-based publisher of real estate data that compiles data solely on sales, reported that 2,728 single family homes sold in January 2014, up 5-percent from the 2,599 single family homes sold in January 2013. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors, who looks at pending sales agreements rather than closed sales, reported that 3,157 single family homes had been put under agreement in January of 2014 as compared to 3,107 single family homes put under agreement in January of 2013, a 1.4-percent increase.

“Interest rates have been very low, which has helped to stimulate home buying and ultimately the number of sales across Massachusetts,” said David Harris, Editorial Director at the Warren Group. “Consumer confidence has been up. The unemployment rate has been showing steady signs of progress. Even with the cold and snow, people were still out in force buying homes in January, which is a hopeful sign. We are also seeing simple economics at work here: a lack of supply of homes across the Commonwealth, which is causing prices to increase. We are hopeful that as prices rise, more people will be encouraged to put their home or condo on the market.”

High demand, low inventory

Due to high demands and low inventory throughout the housing market in Massachusetts, median housing prices for single family homes are also on the rise. Reported by both organizations, the median price for a single family home in January 2013 was $280,000. The figure varies slightly between the two for January 2014, but both organizations report an increase of more than 12-percent, with the median price of single family house sales in January 2014 being $315,000 and the median price of single family homes put under agreement being $320,000.

“Predictions are always difficult,” said Eric Berman, communications director at the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. “If inventory is down then the prices raise which is bad if they become too high. One positive is that equity is returning to home sellers. People can take advantage of super low interest rates, while they stay this low, anyway.”

Condominiums

Both the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Warren Group also broke down the sales and median price range of condominiums in Massachusetts during January 2014 in comparison to past Januarys as well. Research shows that condominiums throughout Massachusetts are seeing a similar trend to single family houses.

The Warren Group reports that condominium sales in January rose from 981 in 2013 to 1,144 this year, a 16.6-percent increase. This is the first time since January of 2008 that condominium sales have jumped over 1,000. The Warren Group also reports that the median condominium price in January 2014 is $300,000, the highest figure since they began tracking such information in 1987.

“Condos have been selling very well for the same reason single-family homes have been selling so well,” said Harris. “People need a place to live, whether it’s a condo or a single-family home. People turn to condos for different reasons: whether it’s to downsize or to enjoy the comforts of a dwelling in an urban or suburban setting without maintenance costs.”

Condominiums put under agreement in January 2014 show a similar rise in numbers, as the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported there is a 9.8-percent increase in such figures from January 2013 to January 2014. With 1,421 condominiums put under agreement in January 2014, this is the most seen since January of 2007, when 1,595 condominiums were put under agreement. The median price of a condominium put under agreement in January 2014 is also on the rise at $300,000, up 20-percent from last year.

“Inventory on condominiums right now is really low,” said Berman. “People are trying to grab them up while they still can. Some people are choosing to downsize in size but not necessarily price, so that they can move from the suburbs to the cities.”

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Great MA Houses That Just Came on the Market—February 20, 2014

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