BOSTON, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greater Boston housing market started the winter months with strong sales and new record high prices throughout December 2016 according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Sales of single-family detached homes decreased 10.2 percent on an annual basis in December 2016 as 1,122 homes were sold, compared to the December record 1,250 of homes sold in 2015. Despite this drop, December 2016 had the fourth highest sales volume of record for the month, and remains comfortably above the historical monthly sales average of 980. Meanwhile, the condo market experienced a very modest decline on one percent in total sales, as 903 condos were sold in December 2016, down from another monthly record for December of 912 condos sold in 2015. Similar to the single-family market, the condo sales were well above historical average of 769 condos sold for the month of December and 2016 is the third-highest sales total on record for the month. Notably, condo sales in December rose 8.7 percent from the November sales total of 836, while month-to-month single family sales dropped 5 percent from the 1,184 sales in November.
"Considering the mild weather of December 2015 and the record sales figures reached that month, a softening of sales was excepted," said GBAR President Melody Skye Roloff, an agent with Exit Realty Beatrice Associates in Middleton. "Although we continue to face challenges with and insufficient inventory of homes to meet current demand, activity has remained strong as many buyers are eager to jump into the market ahead of forecasted increases in mortgage rates and home values in the coming year."
Indeed, Greater Boston saw record-high prices in both markets for the month of December. The single-family market saw a 9.4 percent increase in median sales price to $547,000 up from $500,001 in December 2015. The condo market experienced a modest increase from $465,000 in December 2015 to $547,000 last month, an increase of 4.8 percent. This is the fifth consecutive December that the median sales price has increased.
Additionally, inventory for 2016 bottomed out at a year-low 1,557 single-family homes on the market and 994 condos. These totals also reflect substantial decreases from December 2015, as single-family inventory fell 35 percent from 2,394 and condo inventory took a 28.6 percent fall from 1,392.
"Again last month, we saw the growing trend of homes sold in less time and at higher prices, which is a reflection of buyers responding to the short supply affecting our region," added Roloff. "With this strong start to the winter market and the ever-presence of multiple offer situations, sellers should be encouraged to put their homes on the market."
In fact, average days on market was down in both markets last month, as single-family homes averaged 55 days between listing and accepted offer, and condos averaged 45 days. This was a 21 percent decrease, from 70 days in December 2015, for the single family market and a 13.5 percent decrease for condos, down from 52 days in December 2015.
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SOURCE Greater Boston Association of REALTORS(R)