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Report: A Sept. surge fueled an 18% jump in single-family home prices in Mass.

Buying Fall House Hunt News
A view of Boston skyline.
A view of Boston skyline. David L Ryan/Globe Staff file

Spring home shopping was a bust because of COVID-19, but the fall hunt is robust, two reports released Wednesday affirm.

The cost of a single-family home in Massachusetts in September, $472,000, reflects an 18 percent year-over-year increase, and sales were up more than 27 percent, according to a report by The Warren Group, a real estate analytics firm and the publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

“Historically in September we start to see a significant slowdown in single-family home sales, but this proved not to be the case in 2020,” Tim Warren, CEO of The Warren Group, said via news release. “The total of 6,393 single-family sales marked the most transactions ever recorded in the month of September, and it’s clearer now than ever that there’s no shortage of demand.”

The same spring-to-fall shift was felt in the condo market: There were 2,490 condo sales in September, a roughly 26 percent year-over-year increase, and the median price was up 11.5 percent to $418,000, according to the report. Sales of both condos and single-family homes this year, however, are down 4 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.

“As expected, Suffolk and Middlesex counties were the primary drivers behind the significant uptick in condo sales in September, with 431 and 659 transactions, respectively,” Warren said. “Like single-family homes, the condo market experienced a delayed start to the spring and summer housing markets, and the momentum of motivated buyers continues to drive activity.”

(Boston condo market offers deals ‘nobody would have imagined’)

In Greater Boston, sales of condos and single-family homes rebounded, according to a report the Greater Boston Association of Realtors released Wednesday. The condo market experienced a 19.1 percent year-over-year increase in sales and a median price jump of 7.7 percent to $592,500. The median price for a single-family home rose 12.4 percent year over year to $680,000, and sales skyrocketed 32.2 percent.

“Obviously our spring market was anything but normal, so we’ve been playing catch-up all year long,” Jason Gell, association president and an agent with RE/Max Unlimited in Brookline, said via news release. “We lost almost three months of business to stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, but buyer interest has never waned. The pandemic may have caused a temporary interruption in the market, but we have been able to adapt with sales rebounding at a healthy pace,” Gell added. Year to date, however, sales for condos and single-family homes in Greater Boston are down 9.5 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.

Gell chalks that up to a continual lack of inventory. “Even as today’s softer job market and impending presidential election have created uncertainty in the minds of some buyers, our biggest challenge is not having enough homes to sell, and this will continue to hold back the market until lawmakers pass meaningful zoning reform that will allow for more housing to be created,” Gell said.

The single-family market may have seen a 29.4 percent year-over-year decrease in inventory, but the number of condo units on the market was up 27.3 percent. And there are more signs the market is bouncing back: There were more homes on the market in September than in August, according to the report, and properties were taking less time to sell — 32 days for single-family properties and 38 for condo units.

GBAR-Sept-2020-Market-Overall

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

GBAR-Sept-2020-Central-Middlesex

These communities saw an 8.4 percent increase in the median single-family selling price, from $774,900 in September 2019 to $840,000 in September 2020. Condo prices jumped 19.7 percent, from $390,000 in September 2019 to $467,000 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 40 days on the market. For condos, it was 31. The number of active single-family listings dropped 43.1 percent, while the number of condos fell 37.5 percent. The number of single-family homes that sold soared 50.4 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands increased 38.1 percent.

Eastern Middlesex
BurlingtonMaldenMedfordMelrose, North Reading, ReadingStonehamWakefieldWilmingtonWinchester, and Woburn 

GBAR-Sept-2020-Eastern-Middlesex

These communities saw a 10.2 percent increase in the median single-family selling price, from $599,000 in September 2019 to $660,000 in September 2020. Condo prices rose 7.8 percent, from $445,000 in September 2019 to $479,900 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 25 days on the market. Condos were on for 30 days on average. The number of active single-family listings was down 25.3 percent, while the number of condos on the market slipped 2.6 percent. The number of single-family homes that sold rose 26.5 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands increased a whopping 40.5 percent.

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

GBAR-Sept-2020-Metro-Boston

The median selling price for a single-family home climbed 12.9 percent, from $700,000 in September 2019 to $790,000 in September 2020. Condo prices rose 5.5 percent, from $640,000 in September 2019 to $675,000 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 30 days on the market. For condos, that number was 39. The number of active single-family listings was up 1.7 percent, while the number of condos on the market jumped 46.2 percent. The number of single-family homes soared 48.4 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands increased 24.5 percent.

Metrowest
AshlandDoverFraminghamHollistonHopkintonMedfieldMedwayMillisNatickNeedhamSherborn, and Wellesley

GBAR-Sept-2020-Metro-West

The median selling price for a single-family home increased 9 percent, from $622,000 in September 2019 to $678,000 in September 2020. Condo prices fell 8.9 percent, from $463,000 in September 2019 to $422,000 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 33 days on the market. For condos, it was 45. The number of active single-family listings was down a significant 43.1 percent, while the number of condos on the market dropped 26.5 percent. The number of single-family homes that sold was up 10 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands was up a marginal 1.6 percent.

Southern Norfolk County
AvonBellinghamCantonFoxboroughFranklinMansfieldNorfolkNorwood, Randolph, SharonStoughtonWalpoleWestwood, and Wrentham

GBAR-Sept-2020-Southern-Norfolk

The median selling price for a single-family home rose 7.3 percent, from $480,000 in September 2019 to $515,000 in September 2020. Condo prices fell 6.8 percent, from $386,410 in September 2019 to $360,000 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 36 days on the market. For condos, it was 40. The number of active single-family listings plummeted 41.6 percent, while the number of condos on the market also fell, 21.7 percent. The number of single-family homes that sold was up 29.8 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands decreased 26.3 percent.

City of Boston

GBAR-Sept-2020-City-Boston

The median selling price for a single-family home jumped 18.4 percent, from $599,000 in September 2019 to $709,250 in September 2020. Condo prices edged up 1.2 percent, from $645,000 in September 2019 to $652,500 in September 2020. Single-family homes spent an average of 31 days on the market. For condos, it was 41. The number of active single-family listings was up 31 percent, while the number of condos on the market shot up 53.7 percent. The number of single-family homes that sold jumped 56.9 percent, while the number of condos that changed hands rose 13.7 percent.

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