April 2021 MA|NH Housing Report

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 April 2021 compared to April 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, and so 2019 will be discussed to compare this month to a market not impacted by a pandemic.

Massachusetts Home Sales Up 35.2%

There were 7,788 sales in April 2021 over 5,759 in April 2020 which is a 35.2% increase in total sales year over year.  Singles are up 21.8%, condos are up 57.1%, and multis are up 67.3%. It’s important to also look at what the comparison would be over 2019, which was a market unaffected by the pandemic. April 2021 sales are up over April 2019 but only up by 12.8%, as total sales in 2019 came to 6,906.

Average prices increased over April 2020 by 15.2% now at $554,557 from $481,496.  Single-families are up 16.8%, condo prices increased by 8% and multifamily prices increased by 19.4%.  Low inventory and high demand, along with normal real estate trends have caused the rise in prices.

The significant increase year over year has everything to do with the shutdown last year.  There was a halt in the real estate industry which caused a log jam for the buying and selling process and critically reduced market activity. 2021 looks like it’s seeing giant leaps, but really it’s just catching up to where it would be had prior trends not been interrupted by the pandemic.

Homes Listed For Sale:

The most pointed story in this report is how the number of active listings changed year over year.  Again, due to the shutdown, many sellers paused on their plans to list last April-  so much so that the number of listings this April increased by 91.2% over April 2020. There were 5,683 homes listed last April compared to 10,866 in April of 2021.  But even with that giant increase, listings for 2021 are down by 6.6% when compared to listings in 2019- showing that although more and more sellers are out there, there are still want-to-be sellers waiting to place their homes on the market.

To this point, single families, which took the hardest hit over the past year in terms of inventory, are up 41% over last year for listings but are down 15.4% versus 2019.  Similarly, single family pending sales are up 36% over 2020 but decreased 13.2% when compared to 2019.

Homes Placed Under Agreement (Pending Home Sales):

Pending sales over April 2020 are up by 82.2% but are down by 5.7% over 2019, just like listed homes. Those buyers who waited or who couldn’t find the house they wanted due to sellers not listing during the pandemic are finally securing those homes they’ve been searching for.  The more sellers list, the more pending sales will increase due to the massive amount of buyers still out there.  With pending sales up, closed sales will again likely be up next month.

Price Changes:

Price changes (reductions) are up by 88% year over year in April and are down by 33.6% when compared to 2019. There were 568 reductions in April of 2021, 302 in April 2020, and 856 in April 2019.  This time of year is typically when sellers are beginning to adjust the price of their homes because they possibly listed higher than their target buyer’s range.  That adjustment brings their home into the budget of the right buyer and that’s when the home gets scooped up, and likely even drums up multiple offers as more buyers can afford it.

This year in particular we are seeing sellers want to overprice their homes thinking that it will bring in the most money. But what actually happens is they’re pricing out of their market and they’re causing many potential buyers to shy away.  Price it right and gain a ton of interest.  Click here to watch Anthony’s video from last week explain this phenomenon.

New Hampshire Home Sales Up 16.5%

New Hampshire sales increased by almost 16.5%, now at 1,710 over 1,468 in April 2020. Single family sales increased by 6.5% year over year, condos increased by 15.7% and multi-families increased by 22.5%.
Average prices are up by 19%, now at $411,022 from $345,310 in April 2020. Prices increased in all three categories, up for singles by 22.1%, 15.7% for condos and up by 22.5% for multi families.

The same theories apply for New Hampshire as Massachusetts, in that this month’s year over year comparison shows the impact of the pandemic on sales and prices as the shutdown caused the market to decline this time last year and now it’s trying to play catch up.

What’s Ahead?

There are strong signs that the real estate market is doing all it can to catch up to where it would be had the pandemic not hit.  Everything at this point is up year over year in significant fashion due to how the market essentially froze at the start of the shutdown.  Though the increases are high, when compared to 2019, the market just isn’t quite where it would be yet.

An increase in listings is a good sign for buyers and the fact that there were 10,866 listings and 9,383 pending sales means that 1,483 more homes were listed than came off the market.  A sure sign that the market is on for summer.  That pac-man effect we have been seeing consistently may potentially slow down a bit to give buyers more selection!

Buyers, get preapproved, or get them renewed if you haven’t in the past few months to better reflect interest rates and to ensure that you’re ready to make the strongest offer.  Sellers, take a signal from the increase in price adjustments; don’t over-price just because you want to sell for more.  Pricing the home right brings out more buyers and often, multiple offers which is what will get you that over-asking sale price you’re hoping for.  Overpricing will just make your home sit until you make that adjustment.  Homes that sell faster sell for more so price it right out of the gate. 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 & MLSPin for MA, and by NEREN for NH then compared to the prior year.