September 2018 Housing Report

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It’s Clear the Market HAS Changed

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 September 2018 compared to September 2017. It also looks at other metrics in Massachusetts like Homes Listed For Sale and Homes Pending, as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market.

Massachusetts September Home Sales Down 9.19%

Massachusetts home sales decreased in all three categories in September.  Single families are down by 8.07% (from 5,378 to 4,944), multi-families decreased 2.95% (from 779 to 756), and condos decreased by the largest percentage, 14.19% (from 2,177 to 1,868).  Overall, home sales are down by just over 9% from September 2017 to September 2018.

Prices last September, on the other hand were lower by 6.38% than September 2018, which exhibited increases in all three categories.  Multi-families saw the highest increase this month, by 15.26%, with prices moving from $415,749 to $479,199 in September 2018.  Single family prices increased by 3.63%, now at $493,134 from $475,855 in September 2017, and condo prices increased by 4.44%, from $336,493 to $351,432 in September 2018.

In Massachusetts, there were 1,353 homes for sale that made price adjustments compared to 1,109 in September 2017 which is the biggest sign of a slower market.  Anthony explained this in depth as one of his Three Reasons the market has changed in his September 11tth Op Ed as one of the biggest signs that the market had changed.  Price adjustments in September and October are more common as the fall inventory increases, buyers take their time, homes sit on the market longer, and sellers make price improvements to gain more visibility by potential buyers.

Homes Listed for Sale:

In September 2017 10,535 homes were listed for sale in Massachusetts compared to 10,899 in 2018, showing a 3.46% increase, almost exactly the same year over year percentage change that we saw in August 2018.  The increase in homes listed is no surprise given the increase in fall inventory and the recent change in the market, as covered by Anthony in his op-ed last month.

Pending Home Sales:

There were 8,462 homes that went pending in September 2017 and 7,900 in September 2018, showing a 6.64% decrease.  With pendings down it’s possible we see home sales decrease in the coming months.  Given how slow September started off its impressive that they were only down 6%.   That was thanks to the market really picking back up in late September. Since that time the market has been pretty busy but there is no denying we are in more of a buyers market than we have been in at least four years.

Southern New Hampshire September Home Sales Down 1.44%

The number of properties sold in Southern New Hampshire decreased by 1.44% from 1,247 to 1,229, with an increase in only one category- multi-families- which improved in sales by 19.35%, moving from 62 sold in 2017 to 74 sold this September.  Condos decreased by 4.36% with sales moving from 321 in September 2017 to 307 this year.  Single families saw a decrease of 1.85% bringing sales to 848 this year compared to 864 last year.

The average price for homes in New Hampshire decreased by just over 1%.  Multis were the only category that had a decrease of price year over year, with $349,091 dropping by 19.35% to $302,922.  Single family prices increased barely, by 0.14%, from $322,067 to $322,534 in 2018.  Prices for condos increased by 4.66% from $250,758 in September 2017 to $262,444 in 2018.

What’s Ahead?

The fall market is fully in gear as we are almost at the close of October.  Looking at September’s performance, with sales being down and prices still increasing overall, we see that sellers are still optimistic and buyers are taking their time, with some passing on homes that have been on the market for a while because they think there must be something wrong with them.  For the record, there’s nothing wrong with that house – homes just tend to take a little longer to sell when there’s higher inventory.  Sellers are getting savvy and have been adjusting their prices to attract more buyers, as we saw with the increase of price changes this month- 1,353 in September up from 939 in August.  The increase in interest rates, now resting around 5%, has likely contributed to buyers resting on their heels and sellers adjusting prices to accommodate the cause for pause.  Aggressive pricing will help ease buyers into making that offer, despite the higher price for them to borrow.  Fall is still the best time to buy, so buyers should get out there and make an offer on a home before the deep freeze diminishes inventory and accelerates bidding wars once again.

Inventory of homes for sale is just starting to decrease just this week. This is good news for sellers and is exactly why they should not believe that homes do not sell during the holidays.  We released a blog just yesterday called Myth Buster…Homes DO sell during the holidays!

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