Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic that has cause financial hardship across the country, the rate of single-family home sales in 2020 has outpaced any other year since 2004. Here's why.
"In the wake of the first COVID-19 lockdown way back in March, single-family home sales took a nosedive for the entire second quarter," says Warren Group CEO Tim Warren. "If you had told me back then that by the end of the year that the total number of sales would surpass 2019, there's no way I would have believe you. Yet here we are. Another record-setting year in the books for Massachusetts real estate".
Massachusetts saw nearly 62,000 single-family home sales in 2020, a 3.9 percent increase over the sales total of 2019. The median sale price of those homes climbed 11.4% from 2019 to $445,500 in 2020.
An unprecedented boost in December likely contributed to the high sales volume. The final year of 2020 saw 6,410 single-family homes sold — the most ever recorded for December and up 28.6% from December 2019.
"The hot market has continued right into December, four straight months of sales gains of 25 percent or more," driven by low interest rates and people spending more time at home. "The more time they spend at home, the more they think about the home and some ask what they want to change," Warren remarked.
The pandemic's unprecedented shift toward remote work helped to fuel a migration away from cities and towards suburban areas and "vacation" towns in Cape Cod and the Berkshires.
Will this trend continue into the new year? So far in January 2021, there have been 5,463 single-family homes either sold or put under agreement. Compare that to the 2,658 single-family homes sold or under agreement in January 2019.
In addition, Governor Charlie Baker signed an economic development bill earlier this month that included a housing production measure anchored to local zoning changes, as well as increasing housing near MBTA Stations.
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