Massachusetts homes sales declined in May compared to May 2016 as a result of an extremely scarce inventory environment, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported June 27, 2017.
The number of single-family homes sold in May declined 2.3 percent to 4,930 sales from 5,047 homes sold in May 2016. Closed sales have been down or flat five out of the last 12 months.
Condominium sales also declined in May, slipping 0.3 percent to 2,061 from 2,067 units sold in May 2016. Similar to single-family homes, condo sales have been down or flat for six of the last 12 months.
Massachusetts real estate inventory has declined for several years. The number of single-family homes for sale has declined 63 of the last 64 months. In May, single-family inventory dropped 30.6 percent to 13,918 available homes from 20,065 houses for sale in May 2016. The number of months supply of inventory decreased 29.3 percent.
Available condominium units have declined for 17 of the last 18 months. The number of units available plunged 26.3 percent to 3,876 from 5,260 condos on the market in May 2017. The number of months supply of inventory decreased 27.6 percent.
Real estate inventory (both single-family homes and condominiums) reached the lowest level for the month of May since MAR began recording the data in 2004.
Tight inventory has led to an increase in home prices. The median price of a single-family home reached an all-time high in May, increasing 9.2 percent to $385,000 from $352,700. The previous high was June 2016 ($380,000). Condominium prices increased 7.9 percent to $369,950 from $343,000 in May 2017. Condo prices also reached an all-time high in May, surpassing the previous high of $356,000 in July 2016.
“It’s not often that you see sales go down and prices hitting all-time highs; however, with the number of homes for sale so low, and demand so high, this is what we get," 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis said. "While we’ll be ok in the short-term if we don’t find a way to produce more housing our economy will feel the impact.”
There is a silver lining for homebuyers. New single-family listings increased 4.1 percent in May, and the number of new condo listings surged nearly 10 percent in May.