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Where is the Real Estate Market Heading? Market Snapshot for Q1 2019

The first quarter numbers are in for 2019 and it is time to look at the trends and answer the question: “Where is the market heading?”

2018 was a strong year; however, we saw a drop in the median sales price for single families in Brookline and Cambridge. Looking at the numbers so far, 2019 looks to be a bit different:

What is the Trend with Single Family Homes?

When comparing the median sales price of single family homes during the first quarter of 2019, with the first quarter of 2018, you will see that the towns that decreased in 2018 gained momentum, showing a strong increase in 2019. Cambridge increased almost 60%, Newton and Lexington 20% and Brookline 15%. Needham single family prices dropped by almost 20% and Natick lost some momentum as well.

In most of the towns that we analyzed, there was a big increase in the number of single-family sales with only Lexington showing a decrease.  With respect to days to offer Lexington and Needham both showed a decrease, while most other towns have increased.

What is the Trend with Condos?

Since condominiums are more common in urban areas, we decided to just focus on Boston, and the surrounding cities/towns.  The first quarter of 2018 was very strong for condo sales; however, this did not prove to be the case in the first quarter of 2019, with a decrease in the median sales price across most cities/towns, with the exception of Arlington.

Not only has the median sales price decreased, most towns have also seen a big decrease in the number of condominiums sold with an increase in days on market.

We’ll need to watch the trend with condominiums this year, as in past few years the demand for condos was very high.

So, where are we heading?

This is the question everyone asks me, and I wish I had the answer 🙂 .

Here are a few factors to take into consideration:

  1. Interest rates have gone down this quarter, causing the demand to secure a property to increase.
  2. The median sales price for condominiums is down after rising for may years.
  3. Investors are still active in the condominium market, but it looks like the higher prices may have turned a few of them away from the market.
  4. Overall, less condominiums were sold in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the first quarter of 2018. (Could that be because investors are not buying as much?)
  5. The strongest towns (Cambridge, Brookline, Lexington and Newton) have seen a large increase in the “Median Sales Price” this quarter compared to 2018.
  6. Most of those towns saw an increase in the number of sold properties, but the time on market has also increased.
  7. My very personal expectation is that we’ll see a decrease in sales prices. It might take some time, but I think the signs are pointing in that direction.

However, only time will tell, as every day is a new day, and it is not for us to tell the future…

In conclusion: now more than ever, using a realtor® will help differentiate you in the ever-changing market – where pricing is vital and negotiations require skilled knowledge of the market

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