Here’s April 2017’s Monthly Indicators report from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors® showing Boston real estate market trends.
April 2017 Greater Boston Real Estate Market Trends
A continued shortage of homes for sale and rising prices throughout Greater Boston have softened overall sales of single-family homes and condominiums in April according to data released from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
Sales of single-family detached homes saw a 9.4 percent drop in year-over-year sales in April, as 844 homes were sold compared to the 932 homes sold in April 2016, which is a 9.4 percent drop. This is the ninth highest sales total on record for Greater Boston and is slightly lower than the monthly historical average of 867 homes sold. In the condo market, there were 734 units sold in April 2017, which was an 11.5 percent decrease from the 829 units sold in April 2016. Last month’s condo sales were the tenth highest on record and fell short of the historical monthly average of 797 units sold.
The lack of inventory is continuing to hinder sales activity as there simply aren’t enough homes on the market to satisfy buyer demand. The competition for limited supply of listings is creating multiple offer situations which is driving up prices beyond the reach of some buyers, especially those at the entry level.
- April condo sales DOWN -11.5%
- Median prices UP 9% ($523,500)
- Active Listings DOWN -27.3% to 1,655
- Listings added to the market DOWN -5.5% over last year (1,402 from 1,484 in 2016)
- April single-family home sales DOWN -9.4%
- Median prices UP 12.3% ($595,000)
- Active Listings DOWN -32.3% to 2,768
- Listings added to the market DOWN -8.3% over last year (1,970 from 2,149 in 2016)
Interested In Specific Neighborhood / Area Real Estate Market Trend Data?
Most of you are familiar with the basic economic principle of supply and demand. When the demand for a particular item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.
This principle couldn’t be more true in the current Boston real estate market. The demand to buy a home is strong and getting stronger while the supply of inventory is well below historic norms.
Buyers are facing a very competitive market in which they are competing with multiple buyers for their dream homes. That is if they are even able to find a home they wish to purchase. With such a shortage of new and active listings, homes that are on the market are being snatched up quickly at top dollar!
In this market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction. Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale, which will translate into a better pricing situation.
Bottom Line: You as a potential seller, have a leg up! Consider listing your home.
Take the first step towards becoming a serious home buyer
Early in the home buying process (before you look at homes) it is important to consult a lender to evaluate your credit profile, get a sense for your true budget, and talk about loan options.
A mortgage pre-approval is proof that a lender is willing to make you a loan. With a pre-approval letter, real estate agents and sellers know you are a serious home buyer.
How to get pre-approved:
1. Before seeking pre-approval, you must first obtain your credit score and credit history report to spot any errors or potential issues. Your credit score affects your ability to qualify for different types of loans and receive favorable interest rates. Lenders will often work with borrowers with a low or moderately low credit score and suggest ways to improve or correct credit problems before applying for a mortgage.
2. Once you have pulled your credit score and have made any necessary improvements, you will then complete a mortgage application by supplying your lender with documentation that demonstrates your financial history and reliability, employment and personal information.
3. Typically the pre-approval process can take two to four weeks. From the data you provided, your lender will not only confirm your ability to qualify for a mortgage, but approve a specific loan amount and give you a better idea of the interest rate you will be charged on the loan. They will also give you a realistic understanding of the costs associated with buying a home so there are no surprises or disappointments. (Determine the maximum and minimum amount you can qualify for so you have the flexibility if you find your dream).
4. You will then receive a written conditional commitment for an exact loan amount, allowing you to begin looking for homes at or below that price level.
Bottom Line: A mortgage pre-approval letter proves that you already have backing and the ability to go through with the sale, which makes you a much more attractive buyer to sellers.