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The number of homes for sale in Massachusetts is insanely low

Buying
There are six other properties on the market within shouting distance of the Shrewsbury duplex-style townhouse that Michael and Shelby Tutty are are trying to sell. JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE        Library Tag 05242006 National/Foreign Page One
Homes in Shrewsbury. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

The number of homes for sale in Massachusetts has reached a serious low. Listings fell 34.6 percent year-over-year, from November 2015 to November 2016; the November 2016 listings number, 14,300 (it was 21,862 in November 2015), is the lowest since the Massachusetts Association of Realtors began tracking this stat 12 years ago, the group reports.

This drop marks the 58th month—as in, four years and 10 months—of continuous, year-over-year declines, according to MAR.

The number of condos for sale also fell sharply, dropping 30 percent to 3,887 in November 2016 compared to 5,592 in November 2015, according to MAR.

Months of supply – or the amount of time it would take to completely sell out everything on the market – fell 40 percent, to 2.9 months as of November 2016. It was 4.9 months in November 2015. Five to seven months of inventory is needed for a balanced market, with anything below that considered a sellers’ market.

The limited number of homes from which to choose can be tough for buyers, but the situation isn’t so bad for those looking to sell their homes, said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, who’s also a branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate in Brewster.

“Inventory reached a low this month that we haven’t seen since MAR began recording the data,” said Blatz in a press release. “As long as we need more homes for sale, it will remain a good time to put your house or condo on the market.”

With buyers fighting over limited listings, the time it takes to sell a home or condo has also fallen significantly over the past year.

Single-family homes sold in November had been on the market, on average, for 75 days, down 21 percent from November 2015, when it took 95 days for a home to sell, MAR reports. Condos sold in November had on average been listed for sale for 59 days, a 19 percent drop from November 2015, when it took an average of 73 days for a condo to land a buyer.

Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts rose nearly 20 percent year-over-year, November 2015 to November 2016, from 3,990 to 4,784, MAR said, while the median price of a single-family home rose 6 percent, from $344,500 to $365,000.

Condo sales in Massachusetts rose 14.5 percent year-over-year, November 2015 to November 2016, from 1,505 to 1,723, while the median price of a condo in Massachusetts rose 1.5 percent, from $335,000 to $339,900.

“Buyers didn’t let debates, political ads, or low inventory keep them from staying in the market and closing on homes in November,” said Blatz in a press release.