October’s 16.3 Percent Growth in Home Sales Marks Continuation of Unprecedented Hot Streak

 

Two-thirds of all homes sales in Massachusetts in 2015 have happened in the last five months

 

BOSTON – Nov. 24, 2015 – The Massachusetts real estate market continued its prolonged rally into October, recording 5,127 single-family home sales last month. The mark represented a 16.3 percent increase over October 2014, when there were 4,407 single-family home sales, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Year to date, sales show a 10.8 percent increase, with 45,588 sales in 2015 compared with 41,146 through October in 2015.

But that data does not accurately reflect just how dynamic the real estate market has been in the state since the start of spring. Oct

Through May, the 2015 market was actually down 1.7 percent compared to 2014. Home sales generally take between 45 and 60 days from accepted offer to closing. Once it’s closed the transaction is recorded at the Registry of Deeds and it pops onto The Warren Group’s radar. The historically brutal winter we experienced in January, February and March – Boston received 94 inches of snow in just four weeks, something we’d all undoubtedly like to forget – badly stunted the market by making travel difficult and everyone generally miserable.

So when people could actually get outside and look around – mid April, according to The Warren Group’s data – they began buying homes at an incredible rate. From June through October, there have been 30,350 single-family sales, an 18.3 percent increase over the 25,652 in 2014 in the same period. Two-thirds, 67%, of all single-family home sales this year have occurred in that five-month stretch.

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That is what a red-hot market looks like, and it’s unprecedented in Massachusetts dating back to 1987, when The Warren Group adopted its current method for compiling real estate sales data. In every other year since 1987, sales recorded June through October have accounted for between 46 and 53 percent of the year to date sales.

Here’s what a graph of that looks like:

A graph demonstrating why this five month stretch could be considered historic.

The trend holds true for condos as well. There were 1,942 condo sales in October 2015, a 7.7 percent increase from the 1,804 in October 2014. In the June to October stretch there were 11,993 condos sold, 65 percent of this year’s total of 18,569. Similarly, that percentage has never been above 52% in any year since 1987.

“Is the dramatic spurt in sales volume purely the effect of our historically bad winter? Or did the improved economy and jobs picture unleash unprecedented pent-up demand? I’d say both, but the weather clearly plays a role. The second-worst winter on record for the area – ahead of even 1978 – was 1996, and there is nothing even close to that drastic of an effect in our data. What makes this market even more remarkable is the fact that median prices continue to rise very modestly – right around 2% for the month of October and the year to date,” said Tim Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group.

County Snapshot – Gateway Cities Lead the Way

Six of the 14 counties had significantly greater year-over-year growth in single-family sales in October: Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Norfolk, Plymouth and Worcester. Those six counties combined had 3,276 sales in total, a 27 percent year-over-year growth from 2014.

The other eight counties were not as volatile: Berkshire, Barnstable, Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket and Suffolk had 1,851 sales between them, just 1 percent growth from October 2014.Booming-SlowerChart

The six counties with double-digit growth house 19 of the state’s 26 Gateway Cities. Those 19 cities combined saw 35 percent growth in single-family home sales this October over October 2014. Year to date, they’ve had 20 percent growth in single-family home sales, compared to the first 10 months of 2014.

For more detail on county-by-county and town-by-town statistics, please visit these links and download the comprehensive PDFs.

The Warren Group has recorded and tracked real estate transactions since 1872. The fourth-generation, family-owned company uses its long-time leadership in Boston real estate and banking information to produce specialized reports and news publications, including Banker & Tradesman and The Commercial Record.

With more than 140 years as a local business leader, The Warren Group has developed relationships with a variety of industry leaders and trade groups, including bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions and lawyers. Working together with our partners, The Warren Group organizes trade shows and industry events. For more information about The Warren Group, visit www.thewarrengroup.com.