In this episode of Dwell360's special series Real Estate Answers in Uncertain Times, John Lynch, Realtor® and Co-Founder of Dwell360, reveals real estate market activity in the city for the first half of this year. He shows how sales of single family, condominium, and luxury homes in 2020 compare to the same period of 2019 and discusses what that means for you.
How have single family home sales changed in Newton?
In the first half of 2020, Newton saw just 191 home sales, which is a decrease of almost 30% from 2019. Overall the prices of single family homes held strong, with a 2020 median sale price of an impressive $1,290,000, less than a one percent decrease over last year. Much of that decline can be associated with the luxury market seeing a greater softening, which we will revisit later on.
Our opinion is that $900,000 to $1,500,000 is the most competitive price range in Newton. That range has the highest sales price to original list price ratio and is a category we see the most over-asking transactions take place. We are definintely seeing homes selling with multiple offers in many cases.
Over 17% fewer homes came to market during the first half of 2020 compared to 2019. This is not as sharp of a decline as the 32% decline we saw in the Greater Boston region on the whole. The days on the market for Newton fell by over 9%.
These numbers make it clear that the health crisis slowed the volume of the market significantly, but it did not reduce the prices enough and, in fact, we feel the pressure on the market is even stronger now. We are now starting to see more listings hit the market and the last month has been extremely busy. This is mostly due to many poeple who might have sold their home in the spring delaying their plans and launching their home on the market later, pushing the spring market well into the summer.
What does the data show for Newton condos and townhomes?
Newton recorded 120 condo sales in the first six months of 2020, which is just a 10% decline in sales. The median sales price increased by over 16%, from $735,400 in 2019 to $859,000 in 2020. We believe this robust increase in value was partially due to the condo sales between $1 million and $2 million. Those sales numbers were relatively stable, and there was an overall lack of inventory on the market between $500,000 and $800,000.
We again see a substantial decline in the number of new listings that hit the market this spring, which is consistent across the state of Massachusetts. Overall we noticed that the health crisis limited the number of buyers and sellers interested in transacting some condo sales. Townhomes, luxury condos, and condos not in large buildings seemed to be a bit more active, while smaller condos in larger buildings had a more significant decrease in the number of listings. It is our understanding that this is mostly due to a more complex set of logistics that come with listing a unit like that during the health crisis.
It is fair to say that we have seen a general pullback in interest in some types of condos and an increased demand for single family homes. People are looking for that home office space and a great outdoor space as well.
How was the Newton luxury home sale market affected?
It is worth noting the luxury real estate activity in Newton separately as this category can have a strong influence over the average and median sales prices. The $2 million plus single family homes sales did see a dramatic decline in the number of new listings and the number of homes sold is down by over 37%. This sector also noted more adjustments in the sales price to list price than typical, and we are seeing parts of this premium market soften when properties are not well priced.
People are still buying and selling homes. The prices for the most part are higher. Inventory is down significantly, keeping pressure on the market in favor of the seller. Although there are fewer buyers looking now, with interest rates so low, there are still plenty of people looking for homes. In fact there are so many people looking for a home, buyers often outnumber the number of listings on the market. A well positioned home in Newton will command a premium price in today's market!
If you have any questions about this information, or buying or selling a home in Newton, feel free to reach out to our team.
Dwell360 is an elite residential real estate firm based in Newton, Massachusetts, servicing the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. Dwell360 is a leader in luxury real estate throughout Boston, Brookline, Newton, Needham, and other communities of the greater Boston area. Search for homes in Massachusetts or give us a call!