Warm Winter Heats Up Housing in Massachusetts

    Is your Sundae melting? It’s either because the warm winter or the hot real estate market. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported that 2015 closed out with seven straight months of sales increases with December having the most closed sales of any December since 2004. Median prices were also up for seven straight months as home values neared pre-recession peaks. While condominium sales were up in December, prices were flat from 2014. The past 12 months was a very positive year for home sales in Massachusetts as both single-family and condominium sales and median prices were up over 2014.

    The purple lines and bars represent 2015 figures and gray represents 2014 figures in charts below.

    • Most closed sales in a December since 2004
    • Closed sales have been up 11 out of the last 18 months
    • Median sales prices close to December 2004/2005 levels
    • Median prices have been up 16 out of the last 18 months

    The sales of single family homes in Massachusetts are going strong as we indicated above, median sales prices increased slightly. Let’s look at some numbers and break it down:

    1. Closed sales of single family homes increased +12.9% year over year as of December. Year to date sales are up +9.4%.
    2. Median sales price of single family homes increased 4.5% year over year as of December. Year to date median sales price are up +2.7%.
    3. The number of days on market for single family homes decreased -5.6% year over year as of December to 102 days. Year to date number of days on market are down 2% to 97 days.
    4. The inventory of single family homes is down -20.2% year over year as of December.
    5. New Listings are up +10.2% to 2,814 homes for December which is a good sign that supply is increasing. Year to date new listings increased 4.2%. to 78,865 homes as compared to 75,713 homes last year.

    From a macro economic perspective Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says although healthy labor market conditions will persuade more households to buy, it’s possible overall demand could be somewhat curtailed in coming months. The stock market’s sizeable losses since the start of the year and the effect slowing manufacturing activity is having in some areas — especially in the energy sector — could cause some to hold off on buying.

    “The silver lining from the market turmoil in recent weeks is the fact that mortgage rates have slightly declined,” says Yun. “Buyers looking to close on a home before the spring buying season begins may be rewarded with a mortgage rate at or below 4 percent.”

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