The Lamacchia Housing Report presents overall home sale statistics and highlights the average sale prices for single families, condominiums, and multi-family homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for February 2021 compared to February 2020. It also looks at other metrics in Massachusetts like Homes Listed for Sale, Homes Pending, and Price Adjustments made to active listings, as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market. This month’s report will be unlike years past due to the lingering effects of COVID and the massive amount of home sellers that didn’t list last year.
Massachusetts Home Sales Up 11%
There were 497 more sales in February 2021 over February 2020 which is an 11% increase in total sales year over year. Singles are up 13.5%, condos are up 4.4%, and multis are up 16.9%.
Average prices increased as well, up by $49,025 over February 2020 which is an increase of 10.3%. Condos were down by 2.6% but single-family prices increased by 20.6% and multi-family prices increased by 2.2%.
Homes listed for sale were down by 19.7%. There were 5,875 homes listed in February 2021 compared to February 2020 when there were 7,317. This decrease isn’t helpful considering that sales are up. Most of what is made available on the market is so quickly consumed that inventory simply can’t keep up with buyer demand. Winter market sluggishness due to the snow in February compounded with COVID-19 concerns have definitely contributed to this decrease.
As you can see on the chart below, single families are still incapable of catching up to years past. In February alone, single families saw a 13.5% increase in sales, a 20.6% increase in prices, a 42.9% decrease in active listings, and a 21.3% decrease in pending sales. All these numbers simply mean that single families are being competed over by buyers which drives the prices up, and they’re selling faster than they are listed. Supply isn’t keeping up with demand.
Pending Home Sales:
Pending home sales, accepted offers, are down by 7.9%, now at 6,253 from 6,790 last February. This shows that there have been fewer offers accepted than last year and can likely be a sign that sales may not be up as much next month, as many accepted contracts turn into next months’ closed sales.
Price changes (reductions) are understandably down by 24.8% over February 2020. Price changes just aren’t as necessary in this market climate. Sellers are getting what they ask due to bidding wars that have become commonplace. A reasonable price attracts the most buyers hands down every time. It is the competition that drives prices up naturally, so if you’re a smart seller, you’ll price well based on comps and will be careful not to list your home with a price too high to invite buyer competition.
New Hampshire Home Sales Up 4.2%
The number of homes sold increased by 4.2% in February 2021 over February 2020, now up to 639 sales over 613. Single families decreased in sales by 2.2%, condos are up 12.7% and multi-families are up 55% (a total of 11 sales, don’t let the high percent change mislead you).
Average prices are up by 11.7% now at $376,942 from $337,405 in February 2020. Prices increased in all three categories, up for singles by 9.1%, 9.6% for condos, and up by 21.2% for multi-families.
Under normal circumstances of having a month like February where homes listed were down so much and pendings were down a good amount as well, we would predict that March homes sales would be down. However, they may not be. Last March, when the pandemic hit in the middle of the month, there were several hundred or perhaps even a thousand transactions that were supposed to close in March but did not due to the pandemic. Therefore, last March’s home sales were artificially reduced so it’s possible that this March’s home sales won’t be down year over year because we’ll be comparing to that reduced month last year.
Single families are still a very hot commodity and that demand doesn’t show any signs of alleviating quite yet but the good news for condos is that their demand is coming back. With vaccines becoming more readily available, communal living isn’t as much of a concern anymore.
It’s still an outstanding time to sell, so if it’s something you’re considering, talk to your REALTOR®. There are customized selling and buying plans that your REALTOR® can put together for you based on your needs. Believe it or not, you can sell and have a longer closing to give you time to find your next home, sometimes by listing traditionally or by finding an off-market buyer who will work with your timeline so that you can find suitable housing.
You can properly set yourself up as a buyer so that you’re able to secure a home without necessarily having to compete in a bidding war, and borrowing at this time is still affordable considering the higher loan limits and the low mortgage rates despite their recent increase. There are sellers who are ready to list but haven’t yet. Realtors at Lamacchia Realty have access to this list of homes and can reach out to these potential off-market sellers if you are interested enough to close on their terms.