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Report: Median condo and single-family home prices hit records for December

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The Greater Boston Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that the region saw 21 percent and 18 percent increases in single-family homes and condos sales volume, respectively, in December. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Sales and prices were up for both condos and single-family homes in Massachusetts, according to two reports released Wednesday.

“Massachusetts single-family home and condominium sales surged by double digits in December,” according to The Warren Group, the publisher of Banker & Tradesman. The state saw a 13.1 percent year-over-year increase in single-family home sales, with the median price jumping to $397,500, a 10.4 percent increase and a record for December, which historically is a slow month. Middlesex County led the way, recording 11,777 transactions in December with a median sale price of  $557,500.

Year-to-date, however, there was a 1.2 percent decrease in sales, with a record median price of $400,000 — a 3.9 percent increase compared with 2018 and a record.

“The trend was fairly obvious all year long — 2019 was another record-setting year for Massachusetts real estate prices,” Tim Warren, the firm’s CEO, said in a news release. “Despite a slight dip in single-family sales compared to 2018, the streak of the median sale price increasing on a year-over-year basis continues. The last time the year-end median single-family home price declined was at the tail end of the housing market crash in 2011. Barring anything drastic, I fully expect this record-setting trend to continue in 2020.”

In December, there were 2,099 condominium sales, a 19.8 percent increase compared with December 2018. Meanwhile, the median sale price increased 4.1 percent on a year-over-year basis to $379,000 — a high for the month of December. Middlesex County again led the way, banking the most sales in 2019. The median price there was $467,000, a 3.8 percent increase. Suffolk County ranked second in the number of sales, but the median sale price was $618,000, a 0.5 percent increase from 2018.

“The number of condo sales in 2019 was on par with the number of sales in 2018,” Warren said. “The spike in the median sale price was largely spurred by the number of luxury developments brought to market during the course of the year in the Boston metro area. Last year was an active year for new developments, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in 2020. With major projects in the works like Allston Yards, Winthrop Center, Cambridge Crossing, and Suffolk Downs, Suffolk County should have another bullish year, and the ripples will be felt throughout the rest of the Commonwealth.”

The Greater Boston Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that the region saw 21 percent and 18 percent increases in single-family home and condo sales volume, respectively, in December. The median sales price for a single-family home hit $605,000, a record high for the month and a 3.4 percent increase over December 2018. The median price for a condo reached $585,000, a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase.

“The flurry of sales activity we saw over the final month of last year is owed in part to the uptick in new listings we saw during the early fall, which increased the supply of homes and condos for sale, not to mention the fact that job growth and consumer confidence in the housing market remain very strong locally,” said Jason Gell, association president and an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Cambridge.

For the year, single-family home sales were essentially flat, and condo sales slipped 0.7 percent.

“The pool of buyers is still large, and with mortgage rates now down more than a quarter point from this time last year to under four percent, it appears the largest obstacle to ensuring our housing market remain healthy this year is having a sufficient supply of homes for sale to meet buyer demand,” Gell said. “We’re hopeful that the state legislature will act in the coming months to address the need for more housing through zoning law reform and other initiatives.” 

What are condos and single-family homes selling for in your area? Here’s the Greater Boston Association of Realtors’ breakdown for 64 communities:

Central Middlesex County
ActonBedfordBoxboroughConcordHudsonLexingtonLincolnMaynardStowSudburyWayland, and Weston

These communities saw a slight drop (0.2 percent) in the median single-family selling price, from $801,000 in December 2018 to $799,500 in December 2019. Condo prices, however, rose 2.9 percent, from $466,500 in December 2018 to $480,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 86 days on the market. For condos, it was 107.

Eastern Middlesex
BurlingtonMaldenMedfordMelrose, North Reading, ReadingStonehamWakefieldWilmingtonWinchester, and Woburn 

These communities saw a 7.1 percent increase in the median single-family selling price, from $560,000 in December 2018 to $600,000 in December 2019. Condo prices jumped 8.6 percent, from $405,000 in December 2018 to $440,000 in December 2019. Single-family homes spent an average of 60 days on the market. Condos were on for 53 days on average.

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

The median selling price for single-family homes inched up 0.7 percent, from $670,000 in December 2018 to $675,000 in December 2019. Condo prices jumped 6.3 percent, from $635,000 in December 2018 to $675,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 58 days on the market. For condos, that number was 68.

Metrowest
AshlandDoverFraminghamHollistonHopkintonMedfieldMedwayMillisNatickNeedhamSherborn, and Wellesley

The median selling price for a single-family home increased 1.7 percent, from $595,000 in December 2018 to $605,000 in December 2019. Condo prices jumped 21.9 percent, from $425,000 in December 2018 to $518,171 in December 2019. Single-family homes spent an average of 67 days on the market. For condos, it was 88.

Southern Norfolk County
AvonBellinghamCantonFoxboroughFranklinMansfieldNorfolkNorwood, Randolph, SharonStoughtonWalpoleWestwood, and Wrentham

The median selling price for a single-family home here was $475,000 in December 2019, a 5.9 percent increase from the December 2018 price of $448,444. Condo prices shot up 46.3 percent, from $288,750 in December 2018 to $422,500. Single-family homes spent an average of 68 days on the market. For condos, it was 76.

City of Boston

The median selling price for a single-family home here was $625,000 in December 2019, a 10.6 percent increase from $565,000 in December 2018. Condo prices increased 11 percent, from $635,000 in December 2018 to $705,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 46 days on the market. For condos, it was 70.

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