The Greater Boston housing market continues to throw waves of opposing stats our way, making simple analysis quite tricky!
Home sales in the Greater Boston area were up 0.2 percent year-over-year in October, with single-family sales dropping 3.6 percent and condo sales rising 4.6 percent, according to the latest analysis from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.
Of course, this being the post-boom housing market, and this being a marketplace as nuanced as Boston’s, the truth lies much deeper than those three aforementioned percentages, so we’ve collected below the important trends you should be following in each marketplace:
Greater Boston Housing Market – Single-Family Homes
- First off, it’s looking like we should brace ourselves for a disappointing 2014, when it comes to single-family home sales; though sales were down just 3.6 percent in October, they are down 6.4 percent thus far in 2014 when compared to 2013, and it’s unlikely that we’ll make up that ground.
- Median sales price, though, only continues to increase – it was up 5.8 percent in October and is up 5.5 percent thus far in 2014.
- Such a price increase, though, comes as the cost of affordability; though we recently reported that overall affordability in the Boston area is up, that trend hasn’t extended to single-family homes, where affordability is down 5 percent from last year.
- Pending sales were a mixed bag; on one hand, the 9.5 percent year-over-year increase was a definite positive, but year-to-date, contract signings are still down 4.5 percent.
- One undeniable positive – new listings were up 4.0 percent in October, and are up 1.1 percent this year.
And Things on the Condo Side…
- On the condo side, though sales were positive in October, they too are down year-to-date in 2014, having fallen 5.2 percent thus far.
- Median sales price, interestingly, dropped 0.7 percent from October, but it still up 6.2 percent for the year.
- The big concern in the condo market, though, comes in the form of inventory – the number of condos for sale has dropped 21.3 percent in the last year, and months supply is down 24.7 percent; plus, new listings were down 1.6 percent in October and 7.0 percent for the year.
- Finally, the positive sales numbers for condos may not repeat in November – pending sales were down 1.6 percent, and are down 6.5 percent so far this year.
As we reported last month, it’s tricky to generate a solid trend for the market, in the face of such numbers, but what’s clear is that we still have some ways to go.