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Real Estate News: Greater Boston sees Steady Sales & All-time Record Prices in August

Strong buyer demand and an overall healthy economic environment in Greater Boston led to steady sales and all-time record prices for both the single-family and condominium markets in August, according to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS (GBAR).

The market was extremely busy last month and we did not experience the normal lull in activity as we often do in August. These steady sales totals are indicative of the continued buyer confidence and activity in Greater Boston as well as the desirability to live here, said GBAR President Andrew Sarno. Weve also seen increased prices and a shrinking inventory in our region, so it is encouraging to see this amount of buyer activity despite median sales prices continuing to rise to all-time highs.

Despite a decrease in overall sales in both markets from last August, each marketplace finished with above or near historical average sales volume for the month.Sales of single-family detached homes dropped on an annual basis in August as 1,704 units were sold compared to 1,710 units sold in August 2015. This 0.4 percent drop in sales remains well above the historical average of 1,461 for August and is the third highest total on record for August.

The median sales price for single-family detached homes remained stable at the all-time high monthly median price of $575,000, a record which we first saw in July. This indicates an 8.7 percent increase from the August 2015 median sales prices on $528,900.

Greater Boston Single-Family Market Overview

August2015 August 2016 +/-
Closed Sales 1,710 1,704 -0.4%
Median Sales Price $528,900 $575,000 +8.7%
Days on Market Until Sale 54 56 +3.7%
New Listings 1,331 1,208 -9.2%

The condo market also experienced a modest decline in sales as the 1,200 condos sold last month fell short of last Augusts total of 1,251. A 4.1 percent decline, this is the eighth highest sales total for the month and sits just short of the historical average sales total of 1,212 for the month.

The median sales price for condos rose 9.7 percent from $456,000 last August to establish a new all-time record high median price of $499,000 in August 2016.

Greater Boston CondominiumMarket Overview

August 2015 August 2016 +/-
Closed Sales 1,251 1,200 -4.1%
Median Sales Price $456,000 $499,000 +9.4%
Days on Market Until Sale 45 41 -8.9%
New Listings 936 955 +2.0%

Surprisingly, this continuation of record-high prices has not caused buyer confidence or activity in our region to diminish. Although, we are seeing a trend of some entry-level buyers being priced out, added Sarno. Sellers should also feel confident putting their houses on the market as the inventory shortage has led to a prevalence of competitive situations and bidding wars which have kept sale prices high, indicated by the increase of homes sold at or above their original listing price."

As inventory continues to drop, the contradictions of today's market are evident. Sellers should feel confident enough to list homes at fair prices and receive meaningful offers in a healthy residential real estate and overall economic environment. However, there may be lingering worry over the availability of move-in ready homes to replace what was sold. On a brighter note, building permits are trending upward. That news should be weighed against the fact that the highest level of activity is in multifamily rentals.

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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