Home sales flat, price up ahead of spring market

AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson

AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson


State House News Service

Published: 03-19-2024 4:03 PM

BOSTON — What difference can a year make? When it comes to home sales in Massachusetts, the answer is about $50,000.

There were 2,042 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts in February, the exact same number of sales as in February 2023. But analysts at The Warren Group report the median sale price last month reached an all-time high for the month of February at $548,250, a 10% increase over February 2023’s median sale price of $498,369. February’s data added to what has been a familiar trend: monthly sales that are down or flat while the median sale price regularly sets new record highs.

Cassidy Norton, associate publisher and media relations director for The Warren Group, said there’s no reason to expect that dynamic to change in the near future as the spring homebuying season gets underway.

“A lack of inventory is the biggest factor driving these trends, and with fewer and fewer homes hitting the market, we can fully expect to see more recording-setting prices paired with a low sales volume in the coming months,” Norton said.

There were 4,438 single-family home sales in Massachusetts in the first two months of the year, four more than during the first two months of 2023, according to The Warren Group. But the median sale price so far this year stands at $550,000, a 10.2% increase over the $498,869 median sale price during the same time frame in 2023.

Housing in Massachusetts is inaccessible or unaffordable for many residents, and Gov. Maura Healey last year identified housing as “the No. 1 issue facing this state.”

Legislative committees are reviewing the five-year, $4.12 billion housing bond bill (H 4138) that Healey filed in the fall seeking to kick-start housing production. And though there is broad agreement that the state has an economic imperative to make more housing available, some pieces of the governor’s bill — like the potential for local-option real estate transfer taxes — are viewed as controversial in the Legislature because they will add to housing costs.

The Housing Committee gave the bill a favorable report and advanced it earlier this month without making any changes to the governor’s proposal. It is now before the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.

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