Massachusetts real estate keeps getting more expensive.
The median price of single-single homes and condominiums reached all-time highs in June and sales declined sharply, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported July 24, 2019.
The median price of a single-family home statewide increased 2.3 percent to $440,000 in June 2019 compared to $430,000 in June 2018. The median home price has risen or been flat for 35 out of the last 36 months on a year-over-year basis.
Not surprisingly given the increase in prices, single-family home sales decreased 10.4 percent in June to 6,004 sales statewide compared to 6,698 sales in June 2018. Closed sales have dropped or been flat seven out of the last 12 months.
Scarce single-family inventory also has kept a lid on sales. There were 14,363 houses on the market in June 2019, an 11.3 percent decline from the 16,190 homes for sale in June 2018. The number of new listings fell 6 percent in June. There were 8,383 new listings on the market in June 2018 compared to 7,878 new listings this past June.
Massachusetts single-family real estate inventory has been declining for more than seven years. Real estate inventory has fallen 88 times in the last 89 months on a year-over-year basis.
The median condo price in Massachusetts increased 8.4 percent to $426,165 in June 2019 compared to $393,250 in June 2018. Condominium prices have risen or been flat 32 out of the last 36 months.
The number of condos sold plummeted nearly 14 percent in June. There were 2,263 units sold in June, down from 2,624 units sold in June 2018. Closed condo sales have fallen or been flat nine out of the last 12 months.
Unlike single-family homes, condominium inventory has increased six straight months. Before the last six months, the number of condos on the market had dropped for 33 consecutive months. Despite the increasing inventory, the number of months supply of inventory for condominiums (2.6 months) remained below the number of months of single-family inventory (3.0 months).
In addition to limited real estate inventory, mortgage interest rates have fueled the Massachusetts real estate market in 2019. After rising above 5 percent in November 2018, mortgage interest rates have declined for several months. Average U.S. interest rates have remained below 4 percent and at multi-year lows for more than two months.
Homebuyers should remember that real estate is local. Price movement varies by city or town. In Mansfield, Massachusetts, a town southwest of Boston, the median price for a single-family home decreased 1.3 percent in June compared to June 2018. Home prices dropped 2.2 percent in Medford and dipped 1.4 percent in Melrose. In Newton, where the median price exceeds $1 million, single-family home prices fell 9.4 percent in June. Andover, a town about 30 minutes north of Boston up Interstate 93, saw prices decline 2.5 percent in June.
Speaking of Boston, in the West Roxbury neighborhood single-family home prices declined 14.1 percent in June, while condo prices increased 9.6 percent. In Charlestown, single-family prices jumped more than 30 percent, but the median condo price dropped nearly 8 percent. East Boston saw condominium prices rise 18.7 percent on a 60 percent increase in sales, and single-family prices slid 4.5 percent on just three closings.
Just south of Boston, in Quincy, single-family home prices rose 6.4 percent in June. Travel 45 minutes north of Boston along Interstate 495 to Haverhill, a city of 60,000 on the New Hampshire border, and you will find a median home price of $364,250, a 3.8 percent increase from June 2018.