Housing Report for March 2020

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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 March 2020 compared to March 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.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up .9%

The number of homes sold as well as average prices increased for Massachusetts in March.  It’s an improvement year over year, as March 2019 experienced a decrease in sales. Sales increased by .9% which is 54 more sales- single families were the only category that increased, multi-families and condos exhibited decreases.  Prices increased in all three categories by $37,764 from March 2019, 8.43%.

Homes Listed for Sale:

March saw a 9.8% decrease in homes listed over March 2019 which had a 12% increase in the number of homes listed. The COVID-19 outbreak is responsible for sellers holding off on listing.

Pending Home Sales:

The number of homes placed under agreement was also down in March compared to last March and again is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Pending deals started to fall apart at the end of March as non-essential businesses started to shut down, causing some buyers to lose their source of income thereby no longer qualifying for mortgages because of layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment.

Price Changes:

Prices changes decreased by 77 homes, about 13%.  The lower inventory year over year has its hand in this decrease, and the market was hotter than it’s ever been before COVID-19 began to slow things down.  When a market is hot very few price changes are needed.


New Hampshire Home Sales Up 1.5%

Sales and prices increased in New Hampshire in March 2020 when compared to March 2019 just like Massachusetts’ performance.  Sales increased slightly (down in single families, but up in condos and multi-families), by 13 homes which is 1.5%, and prices were up in all three categories by $33,591 which is 11%.  COVID-19 didn’t really impact NH as much until we got into April.


What’s Ahead?

Though the beginning of the stay at home mandate was at a time when the market was very active, the subsequent weeks in April have seen a dramatic slowdown particularly in new homes getting listed for sale, Inventory of homes for sale is now below 11,000 which has created a situation where buyers have even less to choose from.

Sellers who decided to hold off on listing should be taking this time to get ready to list as soon as they feel comfortable by preparing their houses now because if everyone lists at once, each listing will be a drop in the bucket. Sellers are better off getting as prepared as possible now so they can be ahead of the massive wave of homes that will get listed in May.  Remember, the more buyers have to compete for your home, the higher they will be willing to pay for it.

Realtors are educating themselves on how to list a home now and show it safely and should be educating their sellers on what the revised protocols should be based on the government’s and the CDC’s recommendations. We also created 10 Steps to a SAFE home Showing to guide Realtors on the safest way to show homes.

Homeowners, as well as buyers and sellers, likely have many questions about how this pandemic and it’s resulting economic crisis will affect them, and because of that- we created a COVID-19 Resource page.  There are weekly videos in which Anthony explains the market and how it’s being impacted, blog resources, news articles, and more.  We also created a COVID-19 Mortgage Resource page for those seeking information on what their mortgage companies expect and are willing to offer their borrowers during this uncertain and strained time.

What was on track to be a very active spring market has certainly changed but this will not last forever and the market activity will pick back up.  We do not expect this to be another 2008 scenario for the housing market as Anthony explained in detail in a video and in an extensive blog.

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