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Home prices increased in Massachusetts again, but the competition for sellers is heating up

Buying News Spring House Hunt
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. Associated Press

The Greater Boston real estate market saw record prices for condos and single-family homes for March, according to a report the Greater Boston Association of Realtors released Wednesday.

The median sales price for a detached single-family home in Greater Boston hit $595,000, a 3.4 percent increase. The sales price for a condo here edged up 0.2 percent, to $550,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 43 days on the market, up from 35 a year ago. For condos, it took 45 days for a unit to sell on average, up from 34 in March 2018, according to the report.

Sellers of single-family properties had a good month, with a 6.9 percent increase in the number of homes sold. For condo owners, the news wasn’t great; the number of units sold was down 9.9 percent.

Despite the rising prices, buyers can take some solace in the inventory stats: The number of active listings for condos was up 35.3 percent year over year; for single-family homes, that number rose 7.7 percent.

“With inventory improving, we’ve seen our eager buyer population react by keeping sales high, as they are taking advantage of modest price appreciation and current mortgage rates,” said Jim Major, association president and an agent with Century 21 North East in Woburn. “An increased supply has helped us reach the spring market earlier than usual. With a mild winter behind us and a plentiful supply, buyers are looking to take advantage now before potential further mortgage rate increases.”

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 4.17 percent last week.

“We’ve yet to see these record-high prices quell any buyer enthusiasm, and sellers should take advantage of these higher price points and growing buyer population,” Major added. “With inventory levels as they are, we should expect a robust spring market, as we’ve also seen an influx of pending sales which we can anticipate will close in April and May.”

In the state as a whole, the median price for a single-family home increased 6 percent year over year, from $368,000 in March 2018 to $390,000 in March 2019, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. The price of a condo dropped 1.3 percent, from $395,000 to $375,000.

“Home sales up again in March shows that buyers were very active over the first quarter of the year,” said Anne Meczywor, president of the association and a broker/associate at Roberts & Associates Realty Inc. in Lenox. “Many first-time home buyers who have been looking for a while are now getting a better opportunity to become homeowners because of moderating condominium prices.”

Statewide, inventory was down 5.4 percent for single-family homes and 14 percent for condos.

How did your community fare? Here is the Greater Boston Association of Realtors breakdown for 64 communities:

Central Middlesex County
ActonBedfordBoxboroughConcordHudsonLexingtonLincolnMaynardStowSudburyWayland, and Weston

These communities saw a 12.1 percent decrease in the median single-family selling price, from $785,000 in March 2018 to $690,000 in March 2019. Condo prices slipped 34.1 percent, from $605,000 in March 2018 to $398,813. Single-family homes spent an average of 52 days on the market. For condos, it was 54.

Eastern Middlesex
BurlingtonMaldenMedfordMelrose, North Reading, ReadingStonehamWakefieldWilmingtonWinchester, and Woburn

These communities saw a 3.2 percent increase in the median single-family selling price, from $565,000 in March 2018 to $583,000 in March 2019. Condo prices dropped 11.7 percent, from $469,900 in March 2018 to $415,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 35 days on the market. For condos, it was 43.

Metro Boston
Arlington, Belmont, BostonBrooklineCambridge, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, MiltonNewton, Revere, SomervilleWalthamWatertown, and Winthrop

The selling price for single-family homes shot up 12 percent, from $630,000 in March 2018 to $705,800 in March 2019. Condo prices edged up 0.5 percent, from $627,000 in March 2018 to $630,000. Condos spent an average of 44 days on the market. For single-family homes, that number was 34.

Metrowest
AshlandDoverFraminghamHollistonHopkintonMedfieldMedwayMillisNatickNeedhamSherborn, and Wellesley

The median selling price for a single-family home slipped 3.8 percent, from $630,000 in March 2018 to $606,250 in March 2019. Condo prices dropped 8.1 percent, from $427,165 in March 2018 to $392,500. Single-family homes and condos spent an average of 49 days on the market.

Southern Norfolk County
AvonBellinghamCantonFoxboroughFranklinMansfieldNorfolkNorwood, Randolph, SharonStoughtonWalpoleWestwood, and Wrentham

The median selling price for a single-family home here was $480,000 in March 2019, a 15.9 percent increase from the March 2018 price of $414,000. Condo prices rose 24.5 percent, from $269,000 in March 2018 to $335,000. Condos spent an average of 47 days on the market. For single-family homes, that number was 49.

City of Boston

The median selling price for a single-family home here was $625,000 in March 2019, a 9.6 percent increase from $570,000 in March 2018. Condo prices inched up 0.5 percent, from $610,000 in March 2018 to $613,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 33 days on the market. For condos, it was 50.

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