Lean inventory keeps home prices in Massachusetts rising

A "For Sale" sign in front of a home. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
A "For Sale" sign in front of a home. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Single-family home and condominium sales plummeted and prices climbed about 10 percent in Massachusetts last month and an analyst at The Warren Group said that with "no quick fix for this distressing pattern" that will likely be the story for much of 2022.

There were 3,509 single-family home sales recorded in Massachusetts in January, an 8.9 percent decrease from January 2021.

Meanwhile, The Warren Group reported Wednesday, the median sale price was up 10.7 percent year-over-year to reach a new January high of $495,000. The 1,442 condo sales in January represented a 14.9 percent decrease from January 2021 and the median sale price of $438,000 was up 9.5 percent from a year earlier and also a January record.

"This is really a problem with inventory of homes for sale. The balance of supply and demand is out of whack and that's pushing up prices," Tim Warren, CEO of The Warren Group, reported.

The number of single-family home sales in Massachusetts has declined between 6 percent and 21 percent every month since June 2021, Warren said, and the Mass. Association of Realtors reported that the inventory of homes for sale at the end of 2021 was down 50 percent from the end of 2020.

"We have to remember that the economy is strong, unemployment is low, consumers are optimistic that a better job and a better salary are attainable. I don't see a quick fix for this distressing pattern; I expect that the number of sales will continue to fall and prices to continue to rise this year," Warren said. "Real estate is not unique in this respect — have you tried buying a used car recently? I bought a new car last June and I read recently that it's worth more now than the list price that I paid back six months ago."



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