By Liz Hughes
A cold winter is no match for home sales as they continued to increase last month despite all-time high prices and record low inventory.
Massachusetts home prices are in the top 10 of all-time highs. Single-family home sales increased 7.8% to 3,584 compared to last year, while condo sales were up 9.8% to 1,463 over the same period, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors’ Feb. 16 Monthly Indicators Report.
Inventory continues to be at a record low with single-family home inventory down 64% from January 2020 and condos down 26.1%.
“January started 2021 off strong for the housing market in Massachusetts. Inventory constraints continue to persist, but we are hopeful that an active year for new construction and an increase in spring home sellers will bring more opportunities for buyers,” 2021 MAR President Steve Medeiros, Realtor at Keller Williams Realty, said in a press release.
Several factors are driving up prices from low inventory to high demand, historically low interest rates and an improved economic outlook as more people receive the COVID vaccination.
Low inventory continues to be a factor in driving up prices which continue to hit record highs for both single-family homes and condominiums. In January the median single-family home price was $467,000, an increase of 15.3% from January 2020. Condominium prices rose by 3.6% to $419,400 during the same period.
Higher prices and lower inventories mean potential buyers need to be at the ready.
“With inventory levels at historical lows, swarms of potential buyers are attending open houses the first weekend homes become available and multiple offers (often over asking) have become the norm,” said Michele Taranto, Realtor with Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate. “Being financially ready to purchase a home when looking is paramount. As many new-to-market homes are selling over the asking price, I encourage my buyers to look at homes slightly below their ceiling to compete with other bids.”