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Housing Recovery Hiccups, Experiences Slight Slump in May

BOS Skyline May SummerYou may have heard it on the streets, or read it online - it's true: the housing market last month experienced a slight hiccup yet again, after failing to impress in April. This is the fourth straight month that the market has been striking out compared to previous year's figures.

Driven mostly by the lack of available listings, buyers we yet again short from last year's and last season's sales. In fact, the well of inventory for Greater Boston is quickly drying up, especially for condominiums which were down almost 9 percent. That's negative 9 percent - a hefty decline, considering how hot buyers are nowadays for the conventionally cubed Downtown units.

Single-family homes however, rebounded and were in fact up by 3.7 percent for the whole of Greater Boston. This is generally good - even great news - except that the current profile of the Boston homebuyer is leaning more towards a younger demograph who are most interested in smaller starter homes in or near the city that don't carry a huge price tag.

In terms of property turnover and exchange, closed property sales decreased 10.3 percent for single-family homes and 13.1 percent for condominiums. The Median Sales Price was up 6.4 percent to $532,000 for single-family properties and 5.8 percent to $433,750 for condominiums.

If you're avid reader of our blog, or have been keeping up with real estate trends and developments, you know that we've had a mixed bag of economic news lately. As expected, external factors such as a harsh and long winter, as well as continued economic uncertainties dragged down the buying capacity of individuals seeking properties.

Ironically though, we've now had more than four straight years of monthly private sector job growth in the country. Locally, our unemployment rates are at an all-time low. Job sector growth hasn't been extraordinary, but it sure beats mass layoffs. Buoyed by an improving sales mix, home prices continue their ascent despite erratic demand indicators. More inventory, more high-skilled job growth, and less economic and political uncertainty are still top priorities to keep the real estate recovery ball rolling.

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