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Real Estate News: Greater Boston Real Estate Market Sees Strong Start in 2016

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported that 2016 started where 2015 left off with closed sales continuing to go up on strong buyer demand. Activity in the final months of 2015 pushed closed sales to its highest levels for a month of January since 2004. The same can be said in the Greater Boston area with steady housing and a healthy economy. The Greater Boston market experienced an overall increase in residential property sales during January. Sales for detached single-family homes rose to a new record level for the month according to the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (GBAR).

Last months sales figures are indicative of a positive start to 2016, as we saw an overall 19.7 percent closed sales increase on January of last year, said GBAR President Andrew Sarno. A healthy local job market has continued to drive buyer demand and as a result, prices and home values remained strong for the month of January.

Sales of detached single-family homes improved on an annual basis for an eighth consecutive month in January, and increased 17.9 percent on the January 2015 total of 717 homes sold to a new record 845 homes sold in January 2016. This sales volume surpassed the previous January record of homes sold in Greater Boston from 2005 of 816 homes sold.

Greater Boston Single-Family Market Overview

January2015 January2016 +/-
Closed Sales 717 845 +17.9%
Median Sales Price $485,500 $490,000 +0.9%
Days on Market Until Sale 84 73 -13.1%
New Listings 847 906 +7.0%

Condo sales saw a sharp increase on a year-to-year basis in January, with a 22.4 percent improvement from 486 units sold in January 2015 to 595 last month. This increase represents the highest total condos sold in Greater Boston since January 2007.

Greater Boston Condominium Market Overview

January 2015 January 2016 +/-
Closed Sales 486 595 +22.4%
Median Sales Price $447,000 $440,000 -1.6%
Days on Market Until Sale 59 58 -1.7%
New Listings 709 810 +14.2%

Sales prices in both markets fluctuated slightly. The condo market sales price dipped from the record-high median sales price of $447,000 in 2015 to $440,000 last month. Although this reflects a 1.6 percent decrease, last month saw the second highest median sales price in history in Greater Boston and given the increase in overall sales, reflects a higher concentration of entry-level condos sold this year.

Inventory continues to be the biggest hindrance in the Greater Boston housing market, as numbers in both markets fell last month. We have noticed that low inventory across the board has affected some buyers, as the prevalence of multiple offer situations as well as the desire to buy now before a potential price increase has put some pressure on buyers, added Sarno. However, buyer motivation remains high and last months pending sales numbers indicate that buyers are still very active.

More information here.

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.

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