These past few months, we've seen an increase in buyer demand pushing a strong housing market deeper into the year. The amount of homes sold above listing price continues to rise, going well beyond the typical midsummer peak. This is ideal for prospective sellers who are looking to maximize their return from selling their home.
This September, 22.4% of homes purchased in the United States were sold above their initial listing price, which is up from 20.2% in August, and well above 15% of homes in September 2019 and 2018. This share of homes selling above asking price tends to peak in July, before steadily declining during the fall and winter months. This year, shares have increased each month.
In metro Boston, 40.1 percent of the homes sold in September went for above the asking price, typically going for $25,117 more than what they were listed for, according to the report. That’s up from 27.6 percent a year earlier.
In its analysis of September home sales, The Warren Group found the median single-family home sale price spiked 18 percent over last September to $472,000, while the median condominium sale price increased 8.7 percent to $417,500. Those price increases occurred while the number of single-family transactions that month jumped 27.1 percent on a year-over-year basis to 6,393, while the number of condominium sales increased 26.1 percent on the same basis to 2,490.
Local single-family inventory was down 23.3 percent year-over-year in September to 1,876 and 11.9 percent month-over-month , according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, with condo inventory up 35.1 percent year-over-year to 2,670 and down 2.4 percent month-over-month.
New single-family listings in September were up 46 percent year-over-year to 1,561 and down month-over-month to 1,750, while new condo listings were up 52.7 percent year-over-year to 1,377 and down 21.4 percent month-over-month.
Buyer demand in the United States has been persistent after a dramatic slowdown in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Potential buyers may be motivated by locking in low mortgage rates, especially if they sense a price drop in coming years. Others may be taking advantage of the freedom to work from home in more cost-efficient neighborhoods and towns.
‘‘The housing market is taking us all back to Economics 101 and teaching lessons about supply and demand,’’ said Chris Glynn, Zillow senior economist. ‘‘A persistent interest in buying and moving is creating an imbalance that is driving prices higher than we typically see at this time of year. In many cases, buyers in this market should be realistic about the chance of bidding wars and leave themselves financial flexibility by looking at homes listed for less than their maximum price point. With tight inventory, low interest rates, and robust demand from households re-evaluating their housing needs, a strong, competitive market with many transactions is likely here to stay into 2021.’’
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