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March 2017 Housing Report

Lamacchia Realty Housing Report

The Lamacchia Housing Report presents overall home sale statistics and highlights the average sale prices for single families, condominiums, and multi-family homes in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire for March 2017 compared to March 2016. It also looks at other metrics like Homes Listed and Pending, as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up 11% 

Massachusetts surprised us and had a robust March, with overall home sales up just over 11%! Prices also rose, though not quite as strongly, with an increase of just under 4%.

So far, 2017 has been back and forth – January started off the year very strong, but then February home sales fell in every category. With March, we are back up again, with some very solid growth in home sales in every category.

Condos saw the biggest jump, with sales increasing just under 24% – from 1,497 in March 2016 to 1,853 in March 2017. Multi-families had the smallest increase in sales of the three categories, growing 4% (from 583 to 605).

Average price also increased in every category, and overall increased just under 4% – rising from $387,539 in March 2016 to $401,510 in March 2017. Category to category there weren’t any huge standouts; single families had the largest increase in price (6% up from $418,807 in 2016 to $442,805 in 2016), while multi-families had the least (up 4%, from $411,172 to $417,973).


MA Homes Listed for Sale:

There was a 12% decrease in number of homes listed. There were 10,240 homes listed for sale in Massachusetts in March 2017 compared to 11,626 in March 2016.  April to date is down 20.4%.   First quarter 2017 listed homes are down almost 8% from Q1 2016.

MA Pending Home Sales:

There were 9,119 homes that went pending in March 2017 in MLSPIN compared to 9,636 in March 2016, which represents a decrease of 5% for the second month in a row.  As of April 15th, pending sales were down 14% for the month. First quarter pendings in 2017 are down 5% from Q1 2016, but sold homes are up almost 5%, as depicted in the graph below.

q1 comparison

Southern New Hampshire Home Sales Down 4%

The number of properties in Southern New Hampshire fell 4%; almost exactly the same amount as it did in February. Condos fell the most (4.2%, from 213 sold to 204 sold), but were closely followed by single families (4.1%, from 607 to 582).

Average price increased an almost shocking amount overall – 17% – from $238,822 to $280,014. All categories had a percentage increase in the double digits; the standout being multi-families with a price increase of 39% (almost $100,000 – from $231,058 to $320,065). Condos, the category with the lowest price increase, saw a full $20,000 rise in average price, 11% over March 2016.


What’s Ahead:

It was a bit surprising to see sales numbers rise for the month of March, as we had the feeling that sales would be down as we alluded to in our February 2017 Housing Report. Pending sales were down in January, February and March so it is mathematically unusual for sales to be up like this.  The lack of inventory and the apparent hesitation for sellers to list their homes in February were also signs that sales would stay down for March so this is a welcomed surprise.  With pending numbers down this month, we can also theoretically predict that the sales will be down for April despite the 11% sales increase this month.   Buyers in this current market are frustrated, but as we explained in our recent post, nothing lasts forever, and balance should be restored to the real estate market come summer.  Anthony Lamacchia also explained this on April 17th in his market update video.

Data provided by Warren Group & MLS PIN and compared to prior year.

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