Massachusetts housing market activity falls as median-home prices continue to set records

by Liz Hughes

Sales activity in Massachusetts’ single-family housing market fell in July, even as the median sales price remained over $500,000, according to The Warren Group’s July sales report, which also found that condo activity remained strong.

Single-family home sales declined 7.6% from the previous-year period, with 6,327 sales, compared to 6,849 homes sold in July 2020. Looking back two years, sales declined 1.5%, compared to July 2019’s 6,425 transactions. 

The Bay State’s median single-family home price continued to set new records in July, rising 17.4% from a year earlier to $540,000 and 27.1%  from July 2019. July’s median-home price marked another all-time high for the month and the fourth month in a row of prices above $500,000. 

“The chickens may have finally come home to roost for Massachusetts homebuyers,” The Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said in a press release. “Since the start of the third quarter of 2020, it was apparent that based on the flurry of sales, paired with the ever-shrinking inventory of single-family homes across the state, that it was only a matter of time before we saw sales start to slide on a year-over-year basis.” 

Condominium sales remained strong in July, up 16.5% from a year before, with 2,897 units sold, 5compared to 2,487 in July 2020 and up 17.6% from 2,463 transactions in July 2019.

The median sales price of condos in Massachusetts also continued to rise in July, up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis to $470,000, a new high for the month  and marking the 12th consecutive month of median condo prices above $400,000. Prices were up 20.5% compared to $390,000 in June 2019. 

Warren said that while the condo market continues to be a bright spot in the state’s housing market, he’s curious if the current level of activity is sustainable. 

“Last year COVID concerns held back the condo market as buyers were cautious about multi-unit buildings,” he said. “This year, the buyers have returned, and condos are outperforming single-family homes sales. With the Delta variant now dominant and evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines wearing off, prospective condo buyers may once again turn cautious.”

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