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Massachusetts Real Estate: December Homes Sales and Prices Up to Close out 2014

MARThe Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR) reported that 2014 ended on a positive note overall as the number of single-family homes sold in December was up 5.5% compared to the same time last year. For the year, both single-family and condominium sales were down compared to 2013, but prices were up year-over-year.

December/ 2014 Year-End Closed Sales:

It was nice to see the year finish strong with the number of sales and the median price both up from the previous year, despite the shortage of homes for sale, said 2015 MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald. Hopefully, prospective sellers will see this as a positive trend and feel confident that it is a good time to sell their homes in 2015.

Single-Family home sales were up 5.5% over December 2013 closing the year with 4,082 sales. The median price has also seen an increase of 4.1%. December 2014 closed the year with a median sale price of $332,925 over the 2013 median sale price of $319,000. Closed sales have been up only twice in the past six months and median prices have been up 26 of the last 27 months.

Condominium closed sales saw a slight decrease from 2013 ending December 2014 with 1,543 sales as opposed to 1,613 in December 2013. The median sale price of condos increased 3.4% to $317,000 in December 2014. Six out of the last seven months have seen a closed sales decrease in condos while prices have been up 18 out of the last 19 months.

Looking to the 2014 year-end closed sales, both single-family homes and condos saw a slight decrease in year to date sales from 2013 to 2014. 2014 was a year in which the shortage of homes for sale resulted in a decrease of the overall number of homes sold while prices increased, said Fitzgerald. At the same time, an improving economy and interest rates that continued to stay low attracted a lot of buyers into a very competitive market.

December/ 2014 Year-End Inventory and Days on Market:

The inventory of single-family homes on the market in December was down 16.8% compared to the year before (15,339 listings in 2014 from 18,436 listings in 2013), which translates into 3.7 months of supply and is down from 4.4 months in December 2013.

The number of new listings added to the single-family market increased 4% from December 2013. (2,565 new listings in December 2014 from 2,466 listings in December 2013)

The inventory of condos as of December 2014 decreased 24.5% from December 2013 (3,824 listings in 2014 from 5,062 listings in 2013) which translates into 2.4 months of supply in December 2014. This is down from 3.0 months of supply last year. December was the 50th straight month of year-over-year inventory decreases.

The number of new listings added to the market of condos in December increased 3.7% over the same time last year (942 new listings in 2014 from 908 in 2013).

The average year-end inventory of single-family homes saw aslight decrease in 2014 of 0.3%. (Inventory average in 2014 was 22,237 and in 2013 the average was 22,243). While the average days single-family homes were on the market, the number of new listings increased 2.3% in 2014. (New listings in 2014 were 75,577 up from 73,873 in 2013).

Looking to condo year-end inventory averages, the number of condos on the market decreased in 2014 to 5,711 translating into an average of 3.4 months supply. Although the number of new condos listed in 2014 decreased 2.3%, the number of days condos were on the market dropped to a low of 78 days since 2013. (A 4.9% decrease days on the market).

Overall inventory of homes for sale is down statewide, but there continues to be pockets across the state that are seeing increases. Despite this lack of inventory, 2014 ended on a high note with single-family closed sales up in December. Rising prices to go along with the improving inventory has caused a shift in the market.

More Information: MAR

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