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Single Family Home and Condo Prices at All Time High for October

Sales of detached single-family homes rose on an annual basis for a fourth consecutive month in October, climbing by almost 8 percent over the same month last year to 848 homes sold in October 2013.  It’s the most active October for single-family home sales in nine years, and the fifth busiest October on record in Greater Boston. 

The healthy sales pace in October reflects improved consumer confidence in the housing market which is being fueled largely by rising home values.  In addition, concerns over higher interest rates and inventory shortages among buyers kept the market more active than normal this summer, and demand from those who were outbid on homes during the traditional spring market has resulted in many buyers extending their home search beyond the start of the school year.

The monthly median selling price for detached single-family homes increased for a thirteenth consecutive month, improving nearly 8 percent on an annual basis to $465,500.  It’s the first time since December 2004 – December 2005 that the single-family median home selling price has risen for such an extended period.  Notably, last month’s median selling price is the highest on record for the month of October, topping the previous mark of $447,000 set in October 2005. 

This prolonged period of rising home prices – not seen since the housing boom in the middle of the last decade – reflects increased optimism in housing and a stronger desire for home ownership, which is being fueled by rising home values, steady job growth, and record high rents in metropolitan Boston.  This latest data also offers further evidence that trade-up activity, which is most often comprised of households with school aged children, has been especially strong in recent months, and also demonstrates the upward pressure being put on home prices as buyers compete for a limited supply of homes for sale.

Similar to the single-family home market, condo sales have now risen on an annual basis for four consecutive months, improving 4 1/2 percent over year ago levels to 744 units closed in October 2013.  In addition, last month was the busiest October for condominium sales in nine years, and the second most active October for condo sales on record in Greater Boston, surpassed only by October 2004 (746 sales).

The median selling price for condominiums increased on an annual basis for an eighth consecutive month in October, improving 13.8 percent over the past year to $416,500.  It’s the largest percentage increase in the monthly median selling price since this past March, when the median price jumped 19.7 percent over the same month in 2012.

As was the case in the detached single-family home market, last month’s median sales price represents a new high monthly median price for the month of October, surpassing the previous record price of nearly $366,000 set just a year ago in October 2012.  In addition, the median price this October ranks as the third highest monthly median selling price ever recorded for any month in Greater Boston, exceeded only by the record high median of $420,000 set in June of this year, and the $416,250 median price recorded this past August. 

To access monthly data by community, check out our Local Market Update reports, and our Monthly Market Indicator Reports for comprehensive regional housing market data for the GBAR/GBREB jurisdiction.