Rising home prices leaving more would-be buyers sidelined


BOSTON (SHNS) – Homes in Massachusetts have become too expensive for most people and the buyers who can afford to pay sky-high prices find that they have very few options to pick from, real estate market analysts said in a report on September’s decline in sales volume and increase in median price.

Homebuyers purchased 5,771 single-family homes in September, down 10.4 percent from September 2020 but a 14.7 percent increase over sales from the same month in 2019, The Warren Group reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the median sale price increased to a September record of $509,000 last month, up 7.4 percent from September 2020’s median price of $474,000 and up 27.8 percent from September 2019’s median price of $400,000. The number of single-family home sales has declined for three consecutive months.

Tim Warren, CEO of The Warren Group, said the single biggest reason for the slide is that the typical price of a home in Massachusetts has climbed “too high and too fast.” “There are not many people who are still looking for a home who can afford what homes cost these days. The median price of a single-family home is up almost 18 percent so far this year and that’s on top of an 11 percent gain last year. And prices have risen every year for the last 10 years,” he said. “Homes are just too expensive for most people.”

While the year-to-date median price of a single-family home of $511,000 is up 16.1 percent, Warren pointed out that its acceleration has slowed in recent months as interest rates have begun to creep back up. On the condo front, September saw a 1.4 percent decrease in sales — the first decline after 20 months of gains, The Warren Group said.

The median sale price of a condo increased 6.7 percent in September to $445,000, the 14th consecutive month with a median sale price above $400,000. “Like single-family homes, every month there are fewer and fewer condos available on the market, which is limiting buyers and pushing prices higher,” Warren said.

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