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Real Estate News: Boston Ends Year with Strong Residential Sales

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported that 2015 closed out with seven straight months of sales increases with December having the most closed sales of any December since 2004. More specifically in Boston, a healthy local job market, low mortgage rates and recent gains in household formation led to increased sales and steady price appreciation throughout the local residential housing market in December, according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (GBAR).

Weve seen a pattern over the last couple months of increased sales volume at a normally slow period of the year, which demonstrates the consumer confidence and desire for homeownership that exists in our market, said GBAR President Andrew Sarno. December capped off a strong 2015 sales year in Greater Boston, particularly in the single-family housing market which had a total sales increase of 7.7 percent on the previous year.

Sales of detached single-family homes improved on an annual basis for a seventh consecutive month in December, increasing 14 percent on the December 2014 total of 1,133 homes sold to 1,292 in December 2015. This sales volume represents the highest total ever during the month of December in Greater Boston, eclipsing the previous record of 1,266 homes sold in December 2003 by 2.1 percent.

Greater Boston Single-Family Market Overview

December2014 December2015 +/-
Closed Sales 1,133 1.292 +14%
Median Sales Price $444,000 $465,000 +4.7%
Days on Market Until Sale 79 80 +1.3%
New Listings 603 635 +5.3%

Condo sales continued to rise on a year-to-year basis in December, with a 7.6 increase of units sold from 815 in December 2014 to 877 units sold last month. This represents the second best December condo sales total in Greater Boston, surpassed only by the 906 closed sales in December 2004.

Greater Boston Condominium Market Overview

December 2014 December 2015 +/-
Closed Sales 815 877 +7.6%
Median Sales Price $423,000 $445,000 +5.2%
Days on Market Until Sale 56 53 -5.4%
New Listings 396 463 +16.9%

As a result of the continued, healthy sales pace, median sales prices increased in both markets in December. In the single-family home market, the median sales price rose for a fifteenth consecutive month, to a new record price for the month of $465,000. Both markets saw increases in their year-end totals from the previous year, as the median selling prices of single-family homes sold increased by 3.7 percent in 2015, with an increase from $458,000 to $475,000.

The strong job market and healthy economy in Greater Boston have continued to drive both sales and prices, added Sarno. Buyers continue to take advantage of the rising home values and low mortgage rates in the area. Additionally, if Decembers pending sales totals are any indication, we can expect a relatively active market throughout the winter months.

Overall in 2015, residential real estate saw advances. Supply and demand were healthy in an environment with low interest rates and improved employment. Improved inventory and affordability remain to be two driving factors as we enter 2016.

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

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