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Boston home sales fall in August as market shows signs of softening

by Liz Hughes

August home sales fell for the first time in 12 months as median sales prices of both single-family homes and condominiums declined or stayed flat last month, according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors August Housing Market Report. 

The drop in home sales comes one month after July’s report saw both home and condo sales on the rise as home values continued to be at or near record highs. 

According to the report, the slower sales pace is not uncommon in August, and property values last month did grow 8% from last year while inventory is still tight after months of unprecedented demand. 

In August, single-family homes sales fell 2.4% year over year with the selling of 1,552 homes compared to the 1,590 homes sold in August of 2020. Home sales volume also decreased 8.4% from July. Last month was the 10th most active August on record for home sales, according to the report. 

Condominium sales grew from last August, up 13.4%, with 1,299 condos selling last month compared to 1,146 a year prior, while sales activity slowed from July dropping 10.2%. August was the fifth-highest August on record for condo sales. 

“It feels like we’ve been in a non-stop sprint for much of the past year, but the market is now getting a chance to catch its breath,” GBAR President Dino Confalone said in a press release. “There’s been a bit of softening in demand over the past 8-10 weeks as some buyers have opted to take a break from the market due to affordability issues or to pursue summertime activities. Others have grown frustrated by the lack of inventory and chosen to renew leases or stay in their current home, and collectively that’s taken some of the air out of the market.”

Despite the softening of sales, prices continued to rise in August, just not as dramatically as they had in recent months, according to the report. The median selling price of a single-family home increased 8.4% from a year earlier rising to $780,000 from $719,500, the smallest price gain in the past six months. In the condo market, the median selling price rose 7.8% from a year earlier to $639,000 from $592,500, the smallest price increase in four months. 

As has been the case throughout the year, supply and demand imbalances will continue to lead to more appreciation of home values, according to Confalone, who says it remains a seller’s market as “most properties are still selling at or above the asking price when priced right.” 

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