Could the spring market bring good news for Massachusetts first-time homebuyers?

by Liz Hughes

As the spring market approaches, declines in median sales and inventory could mean good things for first-time homebuyers, according to a new Massachusetts Association of Realtors report

The market’s busy season is almost here and is expected to bring more inventory, good news considering February didn’t give first-time homebuyers much of a chance. 

National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said a majority of the current and prospective housing supply is at the higher-priced end of the market. First-time homebuyers looking at properties on the lower end of the market are often out-bid due to the shortage of starter homes and high demand. 

NAR says rising mortgage rates are what’s rushing buyers to make a move in the hopes of locking in rates before they rise again. 

“While we’ve seen a decline in new listings this winter, the busy spring season will undoubtedly bring more inventory and a slowdown in median price, which could open up the market for first-time homebuyers,” said Dawn Ruffini, 2022 president of MAR and Realtor at RE/MAX Connections. “Spring is also when new construction starts to come online, supplementing the existing inventory.”

Last month, the median price for a single-family home was up 8.5% year over year to $500,000, but down from January’s $520,000. Single-family home listings, meanwhile, were down 5.5% compared to the previous year. 

Condominium prices also rose in February, to $446,750, up 4.1% from 2021, but dropped from January’s $450,000. Similar to single-family home listings, condominium listings fell 6.3% compared to last year. 

The report also found single-family closed sales fell 16.3% compared to last year, while closed condo sales dropped 15.9%. 

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