Single-Family Prices Jumped 10 Percent in October

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The statewide median home sale price jumped by double-digits last month following a resurgence in buyer interest this fall, according to new data, even as a prominent Realtor group noted an uptick in price reductions in recent months.

The median single-family sale price hit $570,000 in October according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, a 10.6 percent increase over last October. It’s the largest percentage increase in single-family prices all year. For much of the year, the median single-family sale price has not increased more than 6.2 percent year-over-year, with the winter and early spring showing very minimal year-over-year increases.

It came as single-family sales hit their lowest level in 11 years, the real estate data company noted: 3,515 single-family home sales across Massachusetts, a 16.9 percent decrease from October 2022 when there were 4,228 transactions.

“Inventory is far below historical norms, and limited choices make it more difficult to find a home. And record high prices paired with rising interest rates make the task of buying a home that much more formidable,” Warren Group media relations director Cassidy Norton said in a statement.

According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, only 5,508 single-family houses were on the market in October, a 31.4 percent decline year-over-year, while only 4,220 single-families hit the market as new listings, less than a 1 percent increase on the same basis.

Condominium prices didn’t jump quite as much, according to The Warren Group data shows. The median condo sale price hit $500,000, a 4.4 percent rise year-over-year, across 1,562 sales – a 9.4 percent decrease on the same basis.

Year-to-date, there have been 34,515 single-family home sales in Massachusetts, The Warren Group said, a 23.9 percent decrease from the first 10 months of 2022. In addition, the year-to-date median single family home price increased 3.6 percent on the same basis to $570,000. Year-to-date, there have been 64,362 condo sales, a 19.7 percent decrease from the first 10 months of 2022 with a median sale price of $515,500, a 4.9 percent increase on the same basis

One reason for the faster-than-normal price increase? Buyers may have been more willing to jump in the pool this fall, perhaps as it appeared that the pace of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases appeared to be slackening.

“The prospect of facing higher mortgage rates, appreciating home prices, and more intense competition in this tight inventory market has not only diminished purchasing power, but overall housing demand, and the rainy weather this summer did little to help entice buyers into the market,” 2023 Greater Boston Association of Realtors President Alison Socha said in a statement. “We’ve seen renewed interest this fall however, after the market absorbed an influx of new listings following the Labor Day holiday. That’s led to a modest pick-up in activity over the past month, especially at the middle and upper ends of the market where interest rates tend to be less of a factor in buying decisions.”

Across the larger area with the Interstate 495 belt, The Warren Group said the median single-family sale price rose 10 percent year-over-year to $714,950 in October, a 1 percent rise over September. The median condo sale price increased 3.6 percent year-over-year, to $575,000. A total of 1,618 single-families and 1,106 condos were sold last month, the company said.

And across an even larger geographic area, encompassing all five counties in the Boston region, brokerage and listings portal Redfin reported that Greater Boston’s housing market saw the least number of price reductions of any American metro area during the third quarter.

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