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Report: Condo prices jumped 12.4 percent in Mass. in January

Buying News
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Sales of condos and single-family homes in Massachusetts were both up, but inventory is still painfully low, pushing up costs. David L. Ryan/Globe staff

The median sales price for condos in Massachusetts was higher than the cost of a single-family home, according to a report released Wednesday.

The median price of a single-family home increased 6.8 percent year over year, from $355,000 in January 2019 to $393,000 last month, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. It was a record for the month, but no match for condo sales, which saw a 12.4 percent increase to $399,000.

“The median condo price surpassing the median single-family home price is truly a rarity,” said Tim Warren, CEO of The Warren Group. “The last time this occurred was in March 2018, and has now occurred just five times in history. Newly built and renovated condos are driving the market — especially in the Greater Boston area — and commanding higher prices.”

Sales in both markets were up year over year, 8.1 percent for single-family homes and 21.6 percent for condos.

Greater Boston saw similar sales increases, according to a report the Greater Boston Association of Realtors released Wednesday.

“The last few months have been pretty active as we had an influx of new inventory last fall, and with the lack of snow and mortgage rates still remarkably low, we’re now poised for a strong spring market,’ said Jason Gell, association president and an agent with Keller Williams Realty Chestnut Hill in Newton. “Buyers have been out [in] force for the last several weeks, and although there has been some softening in demand at the upper-end of the market, overall confidence in the market is high.”

Despite the fall boost in inventory, there’s a shortage of listings. In January, the number of active single-family listings for sale fell 32.1 percent year over year, and the condo market saw a 19.1 percent drop.

“These numbers reflect just a two-month supply of available inventory for sale in Greater Boston, as compared to a healthy balanced market which contains 6-7 months of supply of listings for sale,” according to the report.

“There is a tremendous need for more inventory as we head into the peak home-buying months,” Gell said.  “With inventory so low, today’s buyers are often competing against many others for a limited supply of properties on the market, and that’s putting a lot of upward pressure on prices. This is a great time for anyone thinking about selling to do so and reap the benefits of the escalation in home values in the last several years.”

In Greater Boston, both markets broke January sales price records. The price for single-family homes roses 2.7 percent year over year, from $589,000 in January 2019 to $605,000 last month. The median sale price for condos increased 2.2 percent, from $565,000 in January 2019 to $577,500.

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 increase (0.4 percent) in the median single-family selling price, from $757,000 in January 2019 to $760,000 in January 2020. Condo prices, however, dropped 12.4 percent, from $408,750 in January 2019 to $358,000. Single-family homes spent an average of 99 days on the market. For condos, it was 84.

Eastern Middlesex
BurlingtonMaldenMedfordMelrose, North Reading, ReadingStonehamWakefieldWilmingtonWinchester, and Woburn 

These communities saw a 3.3 percent decrease in the median single-family selling price, from $584,500 in January 2019 to $565,000 in January 2020. Condo prices rose 4.1 percent, from $426,920 in January 2019 to $444,500 in January 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 63 days on the market. Condos were on for 64 days on average.

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

The median selling price for single-family homes jumped 11.8 percent, from $647,250 in January 2019 to $723,750 in January 2020. Condo prices rose 8.2 percent, from $640,000 in January 2019 to $692,500 in January 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 57 days on the market. For condos, that number was 66.

Metrowest
AshlandDoverFraminghamHollistonHopkintonMedfieldMedwayMillisNatickNeedhamSherborn, and Wellesley

The median selling price for a single-family home increased a modest 1.1 percent, from $608,500 in January 2019 to $615,000 in January 2020. Condo prices rose 15.9 percent, from $461,500 in January 2019 to $535,000 in January 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 66 days on the market. For condos, it was 74.

Southern Norfolk County
AvonBellinghamCantonFoxboroughFranklinMansfieldNorfolkNorwood, Randolph, SharonStoughtonWalpoleWestwood, and Wrentham

The median selling price for a single-family home increased 9.2 percent, from $430,000 in January 2019 to $469,500 in January 2020. Condo prices jumped a whopping 41.8 percent, from $257,450 in January 2019 to $365,000 in January 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 71 days on the market. For condos, it was 81.

City of Boston

The median selling price for a single-family home rose 6.4 percent, from $615,500 in January 2019 to $655,000 in January 2020. Condo prices increased 9.4 percent, from $640,000 in January 2019 to $700,000 in January 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 62 days on the market. For condos, it was 71.

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