Malden MA 02148 51 Pleasant St # 1025
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Massachusetts saw a Sharp Decline in Condo Sales in May
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Massachusetts saw a Sharp Decline in Condo Sales in May

According to reports released last Wednesday, condo and single-family unit sales in Mass. took a hit last month amidst the state COVID-19 restrictions. But this did not stop the prices from skyrocketing.

The state had a 45.5 % year-over-year drop in condo unit sales in May, but the median sales price went up to 0.3% to $402,500, according to The Warren Group reports, a data analytics firm and publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Tim Warren, Warren Group CEO: “Historically, the local condo market is heavily driven by activity in urban centers, like Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. Coincidentally, these areas had some of the strictest quarantine guidelines in the state last month, which seems to have been a major contributor to the statewide decline in condo sales.”

Although the single-family home market did not take a big hit as the condo sales, there was a 30.1% percent drop in May 2020 when compared with the reports from May 2019. But there was a 3.2% year-over-year increase in the median sales price to $423,000 — a high for the month, according to the report.

Tim Warren: “The unique combination of a slowdown in economic activity and widespread concerns about the safety of venturing away from home, paired with a lack of inventory, resulted in the fewest number of single-family home sales in May since 2011. The statewide COVID-19 lockdown took a serious toll on the real estate market on all fronts. From the ability for prospective buyers to attend open houses to sellers’ willingness to relocate during uncertain times, no aspect of real estate was immune to the effects of the lockdown last month.”

According to the report released by the Greater Boston Association of Realtors released last Wednesday, June 24, there was a volume drop of condo unit sales by nearly half (48.6%) over the past year. “Last month was the slowest for condo sales since May 2001, when 522 condos sold, and the percentage decline in sales is the largest in the last two decades, topping the 38.6 percent decline in sales between November 2009 and November 2010.”

The sales of single-family units in Greater Boston also declined, falling 32.8% year-over-year in May. Last month only 889 homes were sold falling from a record high of 1,323 last May 2019.

Jason Gell, association president and an agent with RE/Max Unlimited in Brookline: “There’s no question the housing market took a hit from the pandemic, but we don’t believe the downturn represents the start of a lasting market shift. Instead, we see it as a short, quick adjustment that postponed our traditional spring market.”

From mind-March to mid-May, foot traffic has significantly slowed for over eight weeks to avoid the spread of the virus. The government had ordered restrictions to property access, but the buyer interest and demand has not declined.

Jason Gell: “Market activity has been rising steadily since mid-May as we’ve adjusted to showing homes virtually and in-person with the necessary safety precautions. We expect most buyers who had to delay their house-hunting plans this spring to return, and that should make for a busy market this summer.”

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