Housing Report for December 2019

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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 2019 compared to December 2018. 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.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up 14.8%

Home sales increased by 1,011 transactions in December 2019 over December 2018, almost a 15% positive change bringing sales up to 7,824.  Prices are up by $24,693- meaning they were up every month in 2019- to $462,308.  Sales and prices in single families, multi-families, and condos increased in all three categories.  The number of homes pending increased last month, so it’s not surprising that sales are up this month.

Homes Listed for Sale:

December 2019 saw a 10.7% decrease in the number of homes listed over December 2018. There were 373 fewer homes placed on the market in the past month compared to last December, but with inventory as low as it’s been this past year, a lull during the holidays isn’t out of the question.

Pending Home Sales:

There was a slight 4.8% decrease in the number of homes placed under agreement, 4,656 in December which was 235 fewer than last year. The market is still chugging along despite the minor decrease in homes placed under agreement as well as the inventory that just can’t keep up with demand.

Price Changes:

There were 30 fewer price changes in December 2019 over December 2018.  With the buyer activity we keep seeing, price changes become less and less necessary for sellers.  Buyers are competing and are more willing to pay what a seller wants in order to get the house in this competitive market. As inventory declines, buyers understand they need to pay more to beat out other buyers who would do the same.

New Hampshire Home Sales Up 25.5%

New Hampshire’s sales and prices increased in December just like Massachusetts’ performance.  Prices are up to $320,659 from $290,898 and sales are up to 1,102 from 878.  Singles families and condos increased in sales and prices, but multi-families decreased for both.

What’s Ahead?

January 2020 is predicted to begin with the lowest inventory on record making the market a seller’s dream. This will inevitably drive prices up due to bidding wars as buyers try to compete with multiple offers.  Fortunately for buyers, interest rates are lower than they were at the start of 2019 which will give buyers more spending power.

If you’re considering selling in 2020, it’s best to prepare the house now to sell for the most money as the low inventory will increase the demand for your home.  Inventory is notably lower than the first of the year right around February, so listing then will give you the most power.

Buyers should be out looking now with their preapprovals locked and loaded, ready to strike on the house they want.  Don’t lose heart over the next month or so, inventory generally starts to increase around early March so selection will increase.  Make sure you’re working with an agent who has access to the most homes, some which aren’t even listed but are for sale.  Selection is your best bet in a market like this!

Data provided by Warren Group & MLS PIN and compared to the prior year.
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