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Real Estate News: Greater Boston Region amidst one of the healthiest housing markets in the past 15 years

The traditional back-to-school season didnt slow buyer activity in September as pending home sales went up over 35 percent from the same month last year, according to The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR). The need for new clothes, notebooks and backpacks for back-to-school didnt keep Massachusetts home buyers away from making accepted offers in September, said 2015 MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald. People continue to want to live in the Bay State and the market reflects that demand.

Sales gains were experienced in every region of the US, especially the Northeast. Looking more specifically to the Greater Boston region, new listings were up 10.9 percent for single-family homes and 11.3 percent for condominiums while closed sales also increased for both single-family homes and condominiums.

The job market has shown continual improvement, jobless rates are down, real average hourly and weekly earnings have been up and there has been good news in new household formation. The Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) reported that we are in the midst of one of the healthiest housing markets in the past 15 years.

Greater Boston Single-Family Market Overview

September 2014 September 2015 +/-
Closed Sales 1,066 1,226 +15.0%
Median Sales Price $423,450 $455,000 +7.5%
Days on Market Until Sale 67 64 -4.7%
New Listings 1,839 2,040 +10.9%

Last months sales volume is the second highest on record for the month of September in Greater Boston, topped only by the 1,227 homes sold in September 2004. The current median selling price of $455,000 reflects todays low inventory levels, improved optimism about the economy and housing market, and pent up demand from millennials looking to transition from renting to homeownership. It is surely a sellers market.

Greater Boston Condominium Market Overview

September 2014 September 2015 +/-
Closed Sales 862 897 +4.1%
Median Sales Price $414,500 $428,500 +3.4%
Days on Market Until Sale 53 52 -2.8%
New Listings 1,277 1,421 +11.3%

The demand for condos remains to be strong throughout Greater Boston as entry-level buyers have begun to convert from renting to homeownership and overseas investors and empty-nesters are looking to downsize or relocate to Boston. Current buyer demand is not being met due to a lack of listings once again proving to be a sellers market like the single-family home market. The number of sales would likely be higher if there was a larger number of condos available throughout the area.

"September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million)," stated Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors. "While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace." This being said, more households had the confidence to close on a home in the month of September.

Due to the stock market correction in August, upcoming closed sales were placed into question. However the MAR President stated that The market isnt slowing down and REALTOR confidence reflects that. While the August stock market correction was a question mark, REALTORS who are working with buyers and sellers every day, dont feel there will be any significant impact on closed sales.

About the Greater Boston Association of Realtors: The Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (GBAR) represents over 6,500 real estate professionals throughout the Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts area and is one of the local boards of the National Association of REALTORS the largest trade association in America. GBAR provides professional development courses, standard forms, legal reports and updates, brokerage counseling, legislative and regulatory representation, ethics, mediation and arbitration services, as well as recognition awards.

Sources: Greater Boston Association of Realtors, Massachusetts Association of Realtors, National Association Realtors

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