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The market reflects the peak season for competition with Boston condo prices increasing and buyers in the suburbs competing for all property types. Single family homes in the city experienced a decrease in overall competition but homes that saw offers brought in a sale-to-list price ratio of 102%, the first jump above 100% for the area since July of last year.
- Condo sales heated up. In Boston, median sale prices for condos increased 4% to $785,000. A similar 4% rise for suburban condos landed at $647,500. Meanwhile, single family home prices stayed flat in the suburbs and decreased -3% in Boston.
- Single family homes in Boston saw decreased competition overall. While Boston single family homes pending increased 52% month over month, the increase was due to leftover April listings on the market. New listings increased by only 2%. Median days on market decreased 8%. However, sale-to-list price ratio rose to 102% (from 99%), showing that the homes that received offers saw strong competition.
- Buyers in the suburbs faced competition. Both single family homes and condos in the suburbs saw decreases in the number of new listings available. Median days on market fell 7% to 14 days for single family homes and stayed flat at 18 days for condos. Sale-to-list price ratio increased 1% for single family homes and 2% for condos, indicating multiple offer scenarios.
The Boston area is experiencing increased competition in single family homes and continued activity in the suburbs.
- Prices are up for single family homes in the city. The median sale price for Boston single family homes jumped 51.0% month over month. List prices also increased 7.6% and the number of listings increased 30.3%, indicating that sellers are confident in the current market.
- Single family homes in the suburbs see high competition. Days on market held steady month over month at 15, a swift pace for the area, and -21.1% lower than the pre-pandemic April 2019 number of 19 days. Compared to pre-pandemic activity, April saw a similar number of homes listed compared to 507 in April 2019, but 13.8% more going pending compared to 382 in April 2019.
- Accordingly, suburban single family homes see rising prices. With sale-to-list price ratio at a multi-year high, and up 2.0% month over month and 4.5% year over year, buyers are competing for single family homes in the suburbs. Likewise, median list price increased 7.5% month over month, and 20.5% year over year and over two years (2020 and 2019 matched at $829,000).
More buyers have entered the Boston-area market and some homes are seeing high levels of competition.
- Suburban homes are more expensive and more are selling. In the suburbs, median sale price for single family homes is up 12% year-over-year and the number of homes pending is up 69%.
- Some suburban homes are staying on the market much longer than the median. The number of single family homes listed is up year-over-year, but by a relatively small 19% compared to the 69% increase in the number of homes pending. This indicates that some of the homes going pending are inventory that has rolled over from previous months. Meanwhile, the median days on market is down 14% year over year to 15 days.
- More condos in the city are selling. The number of condos pending is up 81% year-over-year, while the number listed is up 68%. These properties are selling in a median of 28 days, which is slightly slower (17%) than last year’s median of 24 days.
The Boston-area market has a distinct yearly pattern of decreased competition in fall and winter followed by a jump in spring and summer, and 2021 seems to be following suit.
- Sale prices are variable. Median sale price for condos in the metro area is up 6% month over month but down 3% year over year due to a February spike in 2020. In the suburbs, single family home median price dropped 7% month over month but rose 3% over this time last year.
- List prices are following trend. In the city, median condo list price was flat throughout 2020 and that trend continued through February with a 1% month-over-month increase. The suburbs saw a 21% month-over-month jump for single family home median list price, following the 2020 trend for this time of year.
- Homes are selling under list price, as is typical. Condos in the metro area also saw relatively flat sale-to-list price ratio throughout 2020 and have been following the same trend in the first months of 2020, staying at 95%. We can expect this to fluctuate throughout the year but stay under 100%. In the suburbs, the single family home ratio is up 3% year over year to 99%, indicating higher-than-usual competition for February.
- Expect city condo sales to speed up. Median days on market for Boston condos are up year over year, widening the gap that we saw at the end of 2020. It’s typical in the city for the year to start off with homes selling slower and then stabilize at a faster trend in the spring and summer, so we expect to see a month-over-month drop in March as demand increases. In the suburbs, single family homes saw median days on market drop to 17 days from 41 in January.
The Boston area market started 2021 slightly slow, but an increase in activity is indicated for February.
- City condo prices continue a trend. While single-family median home price dropped 21.32% month over month, that dip is likely due to the small number of homes sold rather than a drastic increase in competition. Condos saw a median sale price drop of a relatively small 9.27% paired with almost flat days on market month-over month, following a usual trend of slowness in December and January. Typically, competition increases in February.
- City condo inventory may be growing. Month over month, the number of condos listed increased 122.41% while the number pending shrunk by 32.71%. Taken together, this could be a sign that there is some softening in the condo market–more are available, but fewer are selling. February will be a telling month.
- Suburban prices jumped. Both single-family homes and condos saw increased median sale prices month over month and year over year. Likewise, list price increased as is expected at the start of the year.