Slim pickings are available for passengers on the road to single-family home ownership
NEWTON, Mass., Feb. 10, 2017 – Findings from a report released this month by the Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) indicate that although home and condo prices in Greater Boston have risen, Newton’s single family home sales have decreased slightly, while condominiums are gaining ground. The report was analyzed for the local market by GBAR President-elect, Marie Presti.
A certified realtor for 20 years and a Newton property owner, Presti maintains the decrease in single-family home sales is due to a shortage of these properties in one of the safest cities in the state. The numbers reinforce this. As of Jan. 31, 2017, there were only 66 single-family houses on the market in Newton, a 27 percent decrease, compared to the same period last year. At the end of 2016, Newton had a one month’s supply of single family homes on the active market and less than one month’s supply of condos. Normally, a balanced market has a four to six month’s supply, according to Presti.
Single-family home sales in Newton dropped 8.3 percent, from 2015 to 2016. There were 601 single family home sales in 2015 and only 551 for 2016. Presti said, “Unfortunately, for buyers looking to move here, the low supply of single-family homes will continue throughout 2017, making it tough for consumers to find a good deal. Those looking for a new place will need to hone their search criteria and act quickly the second they find a home they want.” She added, “From a ‘sellers’ perspective, people are in the driver’s seat. So when they’re selling their homes, they should take their time to be sure they’re getting the right offer, with the best terms.”
The median sales price of a single-family home in Newton slipped 1.4 percent in 2016 to $1.1 million. Presti attributes this to less of these homes being sold at the high end. (She noted that a seven-bedroom home, south of Newton Centre, sold for the highest price in 2016, at $4.65 million). On the other hand, the lowest priced single-family home sold last year for $450,000 in Auburndale.
The average number of days on the market for single-family homes decreased 16 percent (or nine days) from 2015 to 2016, from 57 to 48 days. The number of days on the market for condos stayed level at 44 days, despite sales increasing by 3.2 percent. Presti attributes the leveling off to new construction timelines, noting that people have to wait for the condos to be built before they can move in.
In 2016, highest priced condo in Newton sold for $1,710,000. This three-bedroom townhouse is located off Nahanton Street, on the south side of the city. The lowest priced condo was a one-bedroom, in Newton Centre that sold for $237,000.00.
The median sales price for condos in Newton increased 12.6 percent to $698,000. This is due to a growing number of developers who are building luxury townhouses that are becoming an alternative to more expensive, new construction single-families. Sales of Newton condos are in the middle of the pack among area towns, with Brookline and Watertown at a ten percent increase; and Waltham at 14.3.
The outlook for the rest of this winter is optimistic. Presti said, “Although competition for single-family homes traditionally slows down now, Newton is bucking the trend.” She continued, “I expect this will continue through the spring.”
Marie Presti is owner of The Presti Group, an independent real estate agency specializing in the Newton market. Representing sellers and buyers, the agency handles luxury properties, rehabilitations, single- and multi-families, as well as condominiums. The agency is located in Newtonville, Mass. For more information about listings, recent transactions and testimonials, visit http://www.theprestigroup.com/ .