High housing demand, low mortgage rates and overall modest price appreciation during March led to increased sales of single-family detached homes and condominiums in Greater Boston, according to data issued by the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Last month, sales of detached single-family homes improved on an annual basis for the tenth consecutive month increasing 12.5% from the 687 homes sold in March 2015 to 773 this year. This is the highest single-family home sales total since March 2012 when 777 homes were sold. Condominium sales also rose 30% last month from 577 units sold in 2015 to 750. Last month's 750 condos sold represent the highest total since the 950 sales in 2007, which is the record high for total closed condo sales during March in Greater Boston.
"These sales numbers represent today's strong buyer demand and indicate we are well into a busy spring market in Greater Boston, as closed sales in both markets rose above the historical averages for March," said GBAR President Andrew Sarno, Broker Associate with RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services in Medford. Sarno noted that the increase in closed sales, specifically condo sales, this March compared to last year can be attributed in part to the severe winter weather experienced throughout the region in 2015. "The warmer weather of this past winter allowed sellers to prepare and list their homes earlier in the year which has resulted in higher inventory and more housing opportunities for buyers," said Sarno.
While sales in both markets increased significantly, median sales prices experienced modest increases last month. The single-family median sales price rose 0.6%, from $469,000 in March 2015 to $472,000 this year, representing a new record-high sales price for March. This represents the eighteenth consecutive month that the single-family median sales price has improved on a year-to-year basis. The condo market median sales price increased 5.5% up to $480,000 from $455,000 in March 2015, and likewise set a new record high price for the month.
Similar to the past couple months, pending sales increased in both markets in March, representing the continued rise of homes on the market and presumably leading to more closed sales in the coming months. The single-family detached home market pending sales numbers increased 35.9% from 1,118 in March of last year to 1,519 in 2016. In the condo market, pending sales jumped 18% to 1,174 up from 995 from March 2015.
"The continued high numbers of pending sales reflect the highly-motivated buyer population in our region as well as their desire to take advantage of the low mortgage rates that are prevalent here," said Sarno.
For the first time in several months, inventory of homes for sale increased significantly in Greater Boston in March. Single-family home inventory rose 14.8% from 2,280 to 2,618 listed homes in 2016, while condo inventory rose 5.6 percent from 1,399 in 2015 to 1,478 this year.