Reflecting on the most recently completed month of December and 2013 as a whole, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR) reported that December 2013 home sales were down slightly, just less than a quarter of a percent due to a lack of inventory, as condominium sales were up once again. A lack of inventory continues to push up median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums compared to December 2012. As a whole, 2013 was a good year, as both sales and prices were up over 2012.
After a slight blip in November, buyers were able to help sales get back back on track in December, said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini. While 2013 will be remembered for a lack of homes for sale, price increases have improved overall home equity and should help push sellers into the market in 2014.
The median selling price for single-family home in December was $320,000 which was up 6.3% from $301,000 in December 2012. This is the 15th straight monthly year-over-year increase. On a month-to-month basis, the December median selling price was up 1.3% from $316,500 in November 2013.
There were 1,559 condominiums sold this past December, a increase of 5.8% from the 1,474 condos sold the same time last year. Year-over-year sales of condominiums have gone up 23 out of the last 24 months. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 5.2% from 1,456 condominiums sold this past November.
The median selling price for condominium in December was $305,000 which was up 8.0% from the $282,500 median price in December 2012. This is the seventh straight year-over-year increase. On a month-to-month basis, the December median selling price was up 3.4% from $295,000 in November 2013.
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of December 31, 2013 decreased 21.7% from December 2012 (15,194 listings in 2013 from 19,394 listings in 2012) which translates into 3.6 months of supply in December 2013. This is down from 4.9 months of supply last year and down from 4.7 months in November 2013. This was the 22nd straight month of inventory decreases.
The number of new listings added to the market of single-family homes in December increased 4.6% over the same time last year (2,463 new listings in 2013 from 2,354 in 2012).
The inventory of condominiums on the market in December was down 28.4% compared to the year before (4,094 listings in 2013 from 5,714 listings in 2012), which translates into 2.4 months of supply, which is down from 3.7 months in December 2012 and down from 3.1 months in November.
The number of new listings added to the condominium market in December increased 3.7% from December 2012 (908 new listings in 2013 from 876 listings in 2012).
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 99 days in December 2013 compared to an average of 130 days in December 2012. Condos stayed on the market an average of 77 days, down from an average of 111 days in December 2012. On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family was up five days from November 2013 while condos were flat.
2013 Year End Sales and Prices:
The number of detached single-family homes sold in 2013 went up 7.1% from 2012 (49,459 in 2013 from 46,200 homes in 2012). This was the most active year since 2005 when 51,057 homes were sold. The number of condominiums sold in 2013 went up 10.6% (19,964 units in 2013 from 18,054 units in 2012). The condominium market had its strongest year since 2007 when 20,531 units were sold.
The median price for a single-family home went up 9.2% from 2012 ($325,000 in 2013 from $297,750). The condominium market saw median prices increase 6.4% from 2012 ($300,000 in 2013 from $282,000 in 2012). This is the highest median price for condominium since 2004.
The year ended with buyer demand still strong, said Ruffini. While interest rates are expected to rise, were hopeful the increases will be modest and spread over time as purchase power diminishes when rates get higher.
Single-family homes stayed on the market 99 days on average in 2013, as compared to 126 days on average in 2012. The average monthly inventory 21,455 homes) was down 18% from 2012 average of (26,086 homes). This translates to 7.2 months of supply on average for 2013 compared to 5.2 months of supply on average in 2012.
Condominiums stayed on the market 81 days on average in 2013, compared to 114 days on average in 2012. The average monthly inventory (6,156 units) was 23% lower than the 2012 average level of 8,004 units statewide. This translates to 3.8 months of supply on average for 2013, compared to 5.6 months of supply on average in 2012.