RE/MAX: Boston housing inventory bucks national trend, dips in June

by Jason Porterfield

The nationwide housing inventory shortage that has driven growth in prices and demand in Boston and other major markets may be beginning to ease in other parts of the country, but not in Boston, according to RE/MAX’s  National Housing Report for June.

Nationwide, inventory grew by 1.9%, marking the first gain in available housing since March 2020, according to the report covering 53 metropolitan areas. However, the number of homes on the market was down 37.5% from last June. Home sales and prices in June both set records, topping any other month in the report’s 13-year history. Sales rose by 14.2% over May 2021’s numbers. The report’s Median Sales Price hit $336,000 to break the previous record of $320,000 that was set in April 2021 and tied in May.

Boston was one of the few major markets to see a decrease in inventory. In Boston, there were 6,388 housing units on the market in June, down 0.9% from 6,446 in May and 38.1% from 10,325 in June 2020. The number of days on the market dropped by 9.1% month over month, from 29 in May to 24 in June. Year over year, the days on market fell from 43 in June 2020, a 44.2% drop.

Boston saw 5,905 sales in June, a month-over-month increase of 29.2% from 4,570 transactions in May. Year over year, sales rose by 49.9% from June 2020’s total of 3,940.

The median sale price in Boston increased by 5.1%, from $607,750 in May to $639,000 in June. Year over year, the Boston market’s sale price rose by 19.4%, up from $535,000 in June 2020. The median listing price fell from $624,900 in May to $600,000 in June, a  4.0% drop. Year over year, the listing price was up 3.4% from $579,995 in June 2020.

RE/MAX president Nick Bailey called the simultaneous increase in supply and demand a “unique case” and a welcome sign for buyers frustrated by the lack of homes on the market.

“People are relocating as companies and individuals make long-term decisions about remote work and getting back to the office,” Bailey said. “Also, sellers appear to be more confident about finding another home after they sell their current one. If these trends continue, inventory levels should keep growing.”

Nationally, June is typically a leading month for home sales. June has been one of the top four months for home sales in each of the past six years except 2020, when sales were curtailed by the pandemic. From 2015 to 2019, June sales have gained an average of 6.4% over May’s numbers. June 2021’s month-over-month sales gain of 14.2% more than doubled that figure.

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