$400K for a home the new normal in Massachusetts

by Timothy Inklebarger

Home sales remained relatively flat in 2019, and the median price for those homes were up almost 10 percent, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

The association reported that single-family home sales were up 0.3 percent to 56,343 for the year, while condominium sales were down 0.6 percent to 21,829.

The median price for single-family homes was up 3.3 percent for the year to $413,254 and the median price for condominiums was up 3.2 percent to $390,000.

December was a good month for home sales in Massachusetts with sales up 12.7 percent to 4,737, compared to December 2018. The median price of single-family homes in December jumped 9.9 percent to $412,250.

Condominium sales were also up in December, outpacing December 2018 by a whopping 17 percent for 1,826 sales during the month. The median price of those condos also was up in December, jumping 8.7 percent to $390,000 from December 2018.

The report noted that closed sales of single-family homes have been up or flat for 7 of the 12 months of 2019, and median prices have been up or flat for 35 of the last 36 months.

Closed sales for condominiums were up or flat for half of the year, while median prices were up or flat for 32 of the last 36 months.

“Buyers were active and successful in the fall and that combination pushed home sales up in the last month of the year,” said 2020 MAR President Kurt Thompson, broker at Keller Williams Realty North Central in Leominster. “Of course, this activity along with very few homes for sale, resulted in making December another month where median prices were over $400,000.”

Inventory was down for the year for both single-family homes and condominiums, the report noted, with single-family dropping 33.8 percent to 8,315 and condos down 24.2 percent to 2,956.

The supply of both also dropped with single-family down 37 percent to 1.7 months of supply and condominiums down 27.3 percent to 1.6 months of supply.

The report noted that it was the lowest number of single-family homes and condominiums for sale in December since MAR began reporting in 2004.

“Looking back at 2019, two themes dominated the year,” Thompson said. “The first is that the number of single-family homes for sale remained historically low for the entire 12 months; and second, that $400,000 is the new normal for statewide median home prices. Hopefully, 2020 is a year when housing production is made a priority.”

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