Just over a month into 2013 and we’re continuing to see improvement in the housing market that began in early 2012. January home sales numbers jumped 16% this year compared to home sales in January 2012. According to the MLS Property Information Network (MLSPIN) 3,817 homes sold in Massachusetts in January of 2013 compared to 3,291 last year and 3,195 in January 2011.
The average home prices in Massachusetts increased as well. The average price for a home was $352,336 in 2013 compared to $331,422, an increase of 6%. The median price of a home in Massachusetts also increased 6% to $272,500, compared to $257,150 last year.
Home buyers shouldn’t wait to make an offer on a home they want because homes are also selling faster this year than they did last year. The average number of days on market for a home in Massachusetts was 122 in January compared to 145 last January: that’s 3 fewer weeks on the market for a home to sell.
The low inventory of homes available for sale is one factor in the improving housing market. Last year at this time there were 29,412 homes on the market in Massachusetts. This month, there are just 22,663 homes on the market, 23% fewer than there were last February.
This is good news for home sellers. With fewer homes for buyers to choose from, homes for sale in this market are getting a lot of attention. And with record low interest rates more buyers are coming to the market. In some areas, owning a home is more affordable than renting. For example, based on the average selling price for a home in Massachusetts, the monthly payment for a home would be just $1,438, much less than the average monthly rent of $2,328 in the metro Boston area.
But home sellers should not think that an improvement in home sales means they should overprice their homes. When a home’s selling price does not reflect what comparable homes in the area are selling for, buyers won’t even look at it. But if the home is priced right, it will sell.
With a decrease in inventory it’s impressive to see home sales are still up over last year. It speaks to the fact that more buyers are getting back into the market.
*principal and interest, with a 10% down payment, 3.58% 30 year fixed