BOSTON, Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Continued record high prices and a short supply of homes for sale did little to discourage home buyers from entering the housing market last month as sales remained steady throughout September, according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Sales of single-family detached homes slowed on an annual basis in September as 1,145 units were sold compared to 1,218 units sold last year, which was a record high for the month. This is a 6 percent drop in sales; however, it is above the historical average of 1,010 homes sold for the month and is the fifth highest total on record for September. The condo market experienced a modest increase in sales volume as 983 condos were sold last month, a 4.4 percent increase on the 942 condos sold in 2015. This total is comfortably above the monthly historical sales average of 830 condos and is the second highest total on record for September.
"The buyer activity we've seen across the market the past couple of months has been remarkable," said GBAR President Andrew Sarno, Broker Associate with RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services in Medford. "The pace of sales has been strong and steady since early spring, so it's only reasonable that there be a little softening for the market to catch its breath, which we saw last month. Even amid record-high prices and a shrinking inventory, buyer confidence remains strong with many buyers eager to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates and ever-increasing home values."
The median sales price for single-family detached homes rose to a new record high price of $508,000 for the month of September. This is a 3.3 percent increase in median price of $491,700 in September of 2015. In the condo market, the median sales price also rose to $507,000 which represents a 19.2 percent increase from the September 2015 median sales price of $425,450. This also is an all-time high median sales price for the condo market in Greater Boston.
"The steady price growth we've experienced over the past year is a great indicator for the desirability for home ownership and reflects the increased home values we have here," added Sarno. "Buyers are eager to close deals quickly before additional price increases and as a result, deals have been closing quicker than normal."
Indeed, for the first time since April 2016, the average days on market until sale for both single family and condos dropped last month. In the single family market, average days on market dropped 8.8 percent to 52 days from 57 in September 2015 and the condo market saw a 20 percent decrease to 40 days on market, down from 50 days last year.
"Lack of inventory can often be a hindrance to overall sales; however it can also result in new listings that are priced right to be scooped up by prospective buyers and put under agreement quickly," said Sarno. "This is becoming more common today, as we have a very educated pool of buyers."
Inventory of homes for sale continued to drop in both markets in September throughout Greater Boston. The inventory of single-family detached homes fell 22.7 percent from 3,908 in September 2015 to 3,021. Likewise condo inventory took an 18.6 percent hit as it dropped to 1,716 on market last month from 2,109 in September 2016. However pending sales had a modest increase of 0.7 percent in the single-family market, rising from 1,214 to 1,222 and there was a 20 percent increase in the condo market, up from 860 in September 2015 to 946 last month.
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SOURCE Greater Boston Association of REALTORS(R)