Greater Boston Housing Market Sees Steady Gains In Sales, Prices During July

Aug 25, 2015, 11:04 ET from Greater Boston Association of REALTORS(R)

BOSTON, Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The residential real estate market in Greater Boston saw near record levels of activity last month as a strong local labor market, low mortgage rates, and rising home values gave consumers the confidence to enter the housing market.  For a second consecutive month, sales and median prices of single-family homes and condominiums each rose steadily on an annual basis in July, data from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors® (GBAR) show.

Sales of detached single-family homes increased 9 percent on an annual basis from 1,739 homes closed last July to 1,895 in July 2015.  It's the highest sales volume ever recorded during the month of July in Greater Boston, surpassing the previous record of 1,792 homes sold in July 2004, and the second highest single month sales total on record, topped only by the 1,922 single-family homes sold in June 2004.  Activity improved an even more healthy 10.6 percent in the condo market, climbing from 1,196 condominiums sold in July 2014 to 1,323 this July.  Last month's sales total is the second best on record for the month of July, exceeded only by the 1,354 condos sold in July 2005, and the ninth busiest month all time for condo sales in the metropolitan Boston area.

"It's been an exceptionally busy summer in all segments of the market," stated GBAR President David McCarthy, owner of Keller Williams Realty Boston Metro.  "Some of the activity is carry over from our delayed spring market, but we've also seen more new listings come on the market than normal the past two months, and the potential for an increase in interest rates this fall is also helping to motivate prospective buyers," he observed.

In the single-family home market, the median selling price rose 5 percent over the past 12 months, from a median of $505,000 in July 2014 to a new all-time high monthly median price of $530,000, while the condominium median selling price climbed nearly 10 percent in the past year, from a median of $419,000 last July to new all-time high monthly median price of $460,000 in July 2015.  It's the tenth straight month the single-family home median price has risen on an annual basis, and the ninth consecutive month the median price for condos has improved.     

"The strength of the Boston area housing market and desirability for home ownership is self-evident when you see buyer demand reaching record levels at the same time local home prices are soaring," McCarthy observed.

Notably, while inventory for single-family homes and condos continued to decline from year ago levels in July, the decrease in the number of homes and condos for sale was more modest than for any other month this year, with the number of single-family listings sliding 13.5 percent to 3,593 homes for sale and condo listings down 17 percent to 1,590 units for sale.   In addition, new listings for both detached single-family homes and condos improved on a year-to-year basis last month, with a 14.4 percent increase in number of single-family homes listed for sale and a 1.2 percent gain in the number of condos added to the market this July compared to July 2014. As the supply levels build, that will create more opportunities in the market for buyers going forward, and that's evident from the latest pending sales data, which shows the number of single-family homes placed under contract increased for a fourth consecutive month, increasing 20.3 percent over the past 12 months to a new record high for the month of 1,434 this July.  Additionally, in the condo market pending sales improved for a fifth consecutive month on an annual basis, climbing 7.2 percent during the past year to 995 in July 2015.

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SOURCE Greater Boston Association of REALTORS(R)