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Real Estate News: Buyer Confidence & the Strong Economy Drive Sales Up in May

Strong buyer demand paired with a robust economy and near record-low mortgage rates has led to increase sales and prices of single-family detached homes and condominiums in May throughout Greater Boston, according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (GBAR).

In May, sales of detached single-family homes improved on an annual basis for the twelfth consecutive month increasing 17 percent from the 1,060 homes sold in May 2015 to 1,240 this year. This represents the highest single-family home sales total for May since 2004 when there were 1,269 homes sold.

Greater Boston Single-Family Market Overview

May2015 May 2016 +/-
Closed Sales 1,060 1,240 +17.0%
Median Sales Price $520,000 $530,000 +1.9%
Days on Market Until Sale 59 58 -1.7%
New Listings 2,532 2,083 -17.7%

Condominium sales also rose 14.6 percent last month, from 958 units sold in 2015 to 1,098 this year. Last months condo sales total was the highest since 2013 in Greater Boston when 1,129 condos were sold in May. Both closed sales totals are above historical averages for the month of May in Greater Boston.

Greater Boston CondominiumMarket Overview

May 2015 May 2016 +/-
Closed Sales 958 1,098 +14.6%
Median Sales Price $463,950 $477,015 +2.8%
Days on Market Until Sale 45 46 +2.2%
New Listings 1,662 1,429 -14.0%

We have noticed a jump in the number of property owners taking advantage of the equity in their homes to re-enter the market and either downsize or trade up to the middle and upper home sales price. Together with high consumer confidence and a healthy job market in Greater Boston, its made for an extremely busy spring selling season, especially in May, said GBAR President Andrew Sarno. Although inventory levels are not what wed like them to be, buyer optimism remains high and with mortgages rates as low as they are and prices appreciating at very modest levels in both markets, we are looking at a busy summer throughout the region.

The largest statistical change from May 2015 to last month came with the decline in inventory of homes for sale in both markets. In the single-family market, inventory dropped 17.4 percent from 3,533 homes for sale in May 2015 to 2,918 last month. Likewise in the condo market, inventory fell to 1,413 from 1,937 last year, representing a 27.1 percent decrease. These numbers represent the largest decrease on an annual basis for the past year.

With the continued inventory shortage in our region its no surprise that many homes are being sold at or above their original listing price as buyers are eager to close on a home before any additional price increase said Sarno. We often see bidding wars drive up costs and price out buyers when inventory is lacking; however with a modest rise in sales cost and an increase in pending sales this month buyer activity remains high despite these challenges.

Notably, pending sales in both markets increased last month. The single-family home market pending sales increased 6.1 percent from 1,760 in 2015 to 1,868 last month, while the condo pending sales jumped 3.0 percent to 1,337 from 1,298 in May 2015.

Source: Greater Boston Association of Realtors. Findmore 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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