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 December 2020 compared to December 2019. 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 their homes in late March and early April when the lockdown first hit.
Massachusetts Home Sales Up 26.8%
Sales increased this month by almost 27% to 9,920 over last December which had 7,824 sales. Prices and sales increased in single families, condos, and multi-families. All of this proves that homes do sell through the holidays, especially in the year of the pandemic after a delayed start to the spring market.
High demand and low supply means prices increase and that’s what they’ve done for the twelfth month in a row as December increased almost 14% by $63,978 to $526,286 over December 2019.
Homes Listed for Sale:
The number of homes listed exhibited a 32.8% increase to 4,135 which is a positive sign for buyers theoretically. Over a thousand more homes were listed in December 2020 over December 2019 which you would think would alleviate some of the competition for buyers, but no such luck, and that’s because of pending home sales.
Pending Home Sales:
More homes listed sounds positive, but when more homes go pending in one month than were listed, the inventory problem persists. Pending home sales increased by 1,041 over December 2019 to 5,679. So, more listings were absorbed by buyers than were listed by sellers. Single families are being affected in this area, as you can see below when you compare how this year started over last year.
Price changes (reductions) are up by 52 listings from December 2020 over December 2019. In this market, with such buyer demand, price changes are only necessary if a seller is listing for what they think the buyers will outbid one another to. It is not advisable to list high because your neighbor sold for over asking. To sell fast and for the most money, listing a home reasonably based on comps is what will attract the most buyers. More buyer interest will likely lead to competition and multiple offers. That is when the sale price increases. Listing for too much yields less buyer interest, less competition, and less of a chance of a multiple offer situation.
New Hampshire Home Sales Up 17%
New Hampshire saw a hefty increase in sales in December over December 2019. Sales increased in all three categories by 17% overall to 1,289 sales. Prices increased in both single families and multi-families but decreased just under 2% in condos which isn’t surprising as the demand for condos has recently taken a slight hit. Prices overall are up to $429,249 which is a $108,590 increase over December 2019.
It has been an interesting year- and we will see more information soon about the market overall for 2020 in the forthcoming Year in Review reports. But December is reflective of what is going on in that sales, prices, homes listed, and homes placed under agreement are all up. Even though the number of homes listed has increased, so has the number of homes placed under agreement, so the market is in an utter frenzy, and buyers are competing and driving prices up. It is crazy out there.
Selling has been lucrative for those who are brave enough to then be buyers. Buying is intense right now- you have to be willing to jump and see a home the moment it’s listed and before that you have to be completely prepared to make an offer on the spot.
Over the past year in many places, the decreased mortgage rates were greater than the increased prices keeping affordability there and giving buyers more purchase power. But it also means that scared sellers have opted to just refinance, save on their monthly payments, and stockpile that savings into a rainy day fund for when they’re ready to jump into the market or potentially just buy a second home somewhere else for the change of climate or scenery.
The market is trying to catch up to where it would have been had COVID not put a massive wrench in the works, but it’s not quite there yet.