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Boston homes selling faster than ever, as prices continue to rise

by Liz Hughes

As more sellers returned to the market in April, homes are selling faster than ever, even as prices hit an all-time high and are expected to grow even higher. 

More homes came on the market this month compared to last year when COVID caused shelter-in-place orders nationwide, according to Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report

Despite that growth, inventory levels are still below pre-pandemic levels (nearly 26%) and the median home price soared 17.2% year over year to a new high of $375,000. Additionally, the report found that nationally, homes sold in a record low of 43 days, 20 days less than this time last year. 

“After stay-at-home orders brought the housing market to a halt last spring, especially for sellers who re-thought their plans, 2021 is shaping up to be more typical,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a press release. “That lack of activity is causing this year’s more normal trends to look like a huge improvement, and it is. However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels it is very clear we are still not on par with the number of sellers we saw in 2017 through 2019, which is helping to drive one of the most competitive seller’s markets of all time. Home prices are continuing to surge and sales are occurring nearly three weeks faster than a normal spring homebuying season.”

Hale added that while she expects more homeowners to list their homes in the coming months, she also said she expects home prices to continue to reach new highs before peaking this summer. 

New listings in April increased 32.6% over last year, yet they are still below pre-pandemic levels with 25.5% fewer homes listed this month than the average rate of listings in 2017-2019, the report indicated. Active listings were down 53% year over year, and total inventory, including pending sales, was down 21.9%. 

This month, active listings nationally grew by 17.2% from last year to an all-time high of $375,000. Median home prices increased 11.6% over last year in the 50 largest metros. In March prices increased 12.1%, a sign of lowing price growth in larger markets according to the report.

This month, Boston saw list price growth of 13.3% year over year to $699,000. Homes stayed on the market for 24 days less than they did last year, at an average of 22 days. Year over year there was a 97.7% increase in new listings, and the active listing count year over year was down 25.1%.

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