Housing Report for July 2020

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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 New Hampshire for July 2020 compared to July 2019. It also looks at other metrics in Massachusetts like Homes Listed for Sale, Homes Pending, and Price Adjustments made to active listings, as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market.

This month’s report will be unlike years’ past due to the lingering effects of COVID and the massive amount of home sellers that didn’t list their homes in late March and early April when the lockdown first hit.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up 1.5%

For the first time since March, home sales are up year over year.  June sales were down 26%, May sales were down 36%, and April sales were down 17%.  Sales are up by 1.5% (143 transactions) from July 2019, with sales increasing in single families, staying consistent for condos, and decreasing in multi-families.

Prices have again increased by 6.3%, from $470,587 last year to $499,996 in July of 2020. Single families and condos increased in price; single families by 9.7% and condos by 10.4%.  Multi-families decreased by 3%.

Homes Listed for Sale:

There was a 14.8% increase in the number of homes listed for sale in July 2020 over July 2019.  This is the first month we have seen an increase year over year in the number of homes listed since COVID struck in March.  Many sellers delayed listing over safety concerns and as well over worries that they’d sell before they find a home to move into. With the implementation of safety guidelines for open houses and now that a lot of buyers have found homes, or decided to delay their search, competition for homes is hopefully diminishing slightly for buyers making it easier to get an offer accepted.

Pending Home Sales:

Pending home sales are up over last year by 14% which is a little under 1,300 homes placed under agreement.  Pending sales have been up since June as buyers have been taking advantage of the historically low mortgage rates which have helped give more buying power in multiple offer situations.

As you can see in the chart below, the number of homes that have gone pending this year over last year is higher in the past few weeks than it has ever been.

pending per week

Price Changes:

The number of price changes (reductions) has increased by 1.2%, which is a first since COVID as the competition for homes has been so high that many sellers didn’t have to adjust prices to attract more buyers. Home prices are increasing steadily, likely due to multiple offer situations, and sellers should be careful not to overprice as a result.  Overpriced homes tend to need price adjustments within a few weeks of being listed if serious buyers have not been showing interest.

New Hampshire Home Sales Down 28.5%

New Hampshire exhibited a decrease in sales and an increase in prices when compared to July 2019.  Sales saw a 10.9% decrease with 176 fewer sales.  There was a decrease in sales for all three categories and an 11.5% increase in prices by $37,967 overall.  Prices increased in all three categories.

What’s Ahead?

The past few years of low inventory combined with the market effects of COVID-19 has created the perfect storm for the historically low supply of homes we have seen over the past few months.  With the number of homes listed being up, it’s a hopeful sign that this imbalanced market is starting to tip back towards the buyers’ favor, but only time will tell.  The hope is that fall will be a less competitive environment for buyers than it has been all year.

The post-Labor Day spike in homes listed will hopefully happen and be a good sign for buyers that their time to secure a home is coming.  Regardless, buyers who have been out there searching to no avail should stick with it as we are seeing some of the pressure let up as more sellers list. Regardless, buyers should still be ready to strike in a bidding war.

It is still a seller’s market, so homeowners considering selling should decide soon and prepare their homes quickly and list to take advantage of where the market is right now!  It is a bit frightening for sellers to list right now due to concerns that their homes will sell faster than they’ll find a new home to move into, but your realtor will help you devise a selling and buying timeline that works for you and your goals.  As well, agents are implementing safe showing protocols to ensure the safety of sellers, buyers, and other agents.

Our COVID-19 Resource page is a tool designed to answer questions that homeowners, buyers, and sellers have about how all of this will impact their real estate goals. There are videos in which we explain the market and how it’s being impacted, blog resources, news articles, and more.  For those seeking information on what their mortgage companies expect and are willing to offer their borrowers during this time, we also created a COVID-19 Mortgage Resource page.

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