The Boston real estate market stumbled in July from the record levels set a year earlier, according to the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Single-family detached home sales dropped on an annual basis for the first time in thirteen months to 1,596 units, a 16.1% decrease from the all-time record high sales total of 1,903 homes sold last year but still the fifth highest sales total for July. The condo market sank 17.4% to 1,137 in July, but the total still marked the seventh highest sales total for the month.
"Limited inventory and easing of demand from record numbers a year ago has led to this decline, however sales figures remain well above average for the month of July," said GBAR President Andrew Sarno, Broker Associate with RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services in Medford. "Last year's record-high was slightly inflated by the slow spring market and we are pleased with the continued activity and consumer confidence we've experienced this summer. Frankly, the level of activity we've seen is exceptional given where prices are, however we are beginning to see some buyers get priced out at the entry level."
The single-family median sales price rose 4.5% from $550,000 in July 2015 to $575,000 last month, the 22nd consecutive month the single-family median sales price has risen as well as an all-time record high median sales price. The condo market median sales price increased 7.6% to $495,000 from $460,000 in July 2015, also setting a new record-high for July.
"Desirability to live in Greater Boston remains strong, but entry-level buyers in particular are finding their home search to take more time as they struggle to find a home they can afford," said Sarno. "At the same time, many home owners continue to take advantage of the equity in their homes and either trade up or downsize, which keeps the market active across the full range of prices."
The inventory shortage continues to plague Greater Boston as again the largest statistical change came with the falling inventory numbers. In the single-family market, inventory dropped 23.1% from 3,706 homes for sale in July 2015 to 2,850 last month. Similarly, the condo market inventory took a 23% hit with 1,457 condos on the market last month compared to 1,893 from July 2015. As a result of short supply, pending sales dropped 6.6% in the single family market from 1,282 to 1,198 and experienced a 6% drop from 964 in July 2016 to 906 last month in the condo market.