Housing Report for January 2021


The Lamacchia Housing Report presents overall home sale statistics and highlights the average sale prices for single families, condominiums, and multi-family homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for January 2021 compared to January 2020. It also looks at other metrics in Massachusetts like Homes Listed for Sale, Homes Pending, and Price Adjustments made to active listings, as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market.  This month’s report will be unlike years past due to the lingering effects of COVID and the massive amount of home sellers that didn’t list last year.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up 9.7%

Year over year when compared to January 2020, sales increased by just under 10% up now to 6,193 sales in January 2021 from 5,646.  Single-family sales are up 9%, Condos are up 11% and multifamily sales are up 9.8%.

Average prices for all three categories combined have continued to increase, up in January by 9% now at $522,864 from $479,496 with single families exhibiting the greatest increase in prices of 14.7% now up to $587,399, which isn’t surprising given the demand right now and lack of supply.

0121 maHomes Listed for Sale:

The number of homes listed exhibited an 8% decrease to 5,647 from 6,139 year over year which only suggests that this pressure on demand is not any closer to being alleviated.  Typically, as the winter melts into spring, we see an increase in listings which will be a positive sign for frustrated buyers when that does eventually happen.

Pending Home Sales:

The number of homes pending is up by a slight 1% which means that buyers are still buying more now than they were last year.  Add that demand to the decrease in the number of homes listed, and you have the inventory crisis that we are seeing now.  It’s a perfect storm. The number of homes that went pending is at 5,969 over January 2020 when there were 5,905 pending transactions.

Single-family pending sales are down by 7.4%, now at 3,453 from 3,710 which only means that single-family sales are on a downward spiral.  With over 19% fewer single families listed in the same time frame, 2021 looks like it will struggle to catch back up to the numbers we were seeing the past few years.  See the chart below.

singles 0121Price Changes:

Price changes (reductions) are understandably down by 24.7% over January 2020. Price changes just aren’t as necessary in this market climate.  Sellers are getting what they ask for and then some after the frequent bidding wars that have happened. Smart sellers’ price for what the market value is, not the lofty number they’re trying to reach.  A reasonable price attracts the most buyers hands down every time.  It is the competition that drives prices up naturally.

0121 stats

New Hampshire Home Sales Down 11.1%

Sales decreased for New Hampshire by 81 sales in January over January 2020 which is just over 11% and down to 652 sales. Single families decreased by 18.4%, multi families decreased by 44.2% but condo sales are up by 14%.

Prices are up by 16.4% overall with increases in all three categories.  Prices climbed to $395,728 over $339,870 over last January.

0121 nhWhat’s Ahead?

2020 took real estate market trends and flipped them on their heads.  Every January has started with low inventory for the past few years but compile a typical winter seller’s market with the total lack of inventory that we saw in 2020 and we are in uncharted territory.

Sellers aren’t listing fast enough due to pandemic concerns and concerns that they’ll sell so fast they’ll have nowhere to go.  Sellers become buyers after all, and it’s no secret that being a buyer in these times takes a lot of time and patience.  It’s worth noting, however, that the sooner sellers list this year the more money they’ll make.

With pending sales up slightly maybe February sales will rise again for Massachusetts.  Listed homes being down however is another indicator that it’s going to continue to be a very tight market for at least another month or two.

Single-family performance hasn’t improved, quite the opposite truthfully.  Homeowners who would list to upgrade or downsize aren’t budging. They’d rather stay where they are than sell and be left without a place to go.  The number of buyers who want single families is higher than ever due to people wanting more space and due to the fact that all the buyers from last year who wanted one and didn’t get one are still searching on top of all the new year’s buyers.

There are customized selling and buying plans that your REALTOR® can put together for you based on your needs.  Believe it or not, you can sell and have a longer closing to give you time to find your next home.  And you can properly set yourself up as a buyer so that you’re able to secure a home without having to pay a ridiculous amount over asking, especially with the higher loan limits and the low mortgage rates.

The market is trying to catch up to where it would have been had COVID not put a massive wrench in the works, but it’s not quite there yet.

Data provided by Warren Group & MLS PIN and compared to the prior year.