Low inventory is driving home prices up across the commonwealth; two Pioneer Valley counties outperform state averages. Reply

Massachusetts home prices rose for the fifth straight month in February thanks to low inventory, but sales dipped slightly, according to the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®.  Although sales were down in the commonwealth, sales and prices were up in two Pioneer Valley counties.  Condominium median prices and sales were up across the commonwealth, however.

“Demand has outpaced supply with plenty of motivated buyers, but not enough homes for sale to meet the need,” MAR President Kimberly Allard-Moccia said. “If inventory continues to go down, there is a good chance we will see sales decline as well, which is not what the market needs.”

When demand outpaces supply the real estate market can shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, but I think that it is still too early to state definitively that it is the latter.  Further, weather conditions were less-than-ideal in February as there was heavy snow accumulation.  It seems to me that the real estate market is advantageous for buyers and sellers.  So if you plan on selling or buying a home, now is the time to do so.

MAR reported that single-family home sales were down 5% with 2,724 homes sold, but prices were up with a median selling price of $278,000 in February, up 8.9% from the same the period last year.  The numbers were a bit different in the Pioneer Valley, however.  In Hampshire and Hampden counties, single-family home sales and median single-family home prices were up in February when compared with the same period last year.  What’s more, Hampshire County single-family home sales outperformed the state average in increased sales with an 11.1% improvement, while Hampden County outperformed the state average increase in median prices with a 17.4% improvement.   Sales and prices were down in Franklin County, however.

MAR also reported that there were 861 condominiums sold in the commonwealth, which was a 1.7% increase over the same period last year.  Median condo prices rose 12.9% to $257,500 in February.

The number of days that a single-family home and a condominium have stayed on the market has also decreased, MAR reported.  Single-family homes were on the market an average of 126 days and condominiums were on the market an average of 109 days, down from 130 days and 114 days, respectively.

Here is a list of some Pioneer Valley towns showing the number of single-family homes and condominiums on the market as of 4/1/13.

Town

Single-family homes

Condominiums

Amherst

66

20

Belchertown

65

16

Deerfield

19

3

Granby

31

4

Hadley

24

0

Montague

24

1

Northampton

73

28

If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129.

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