By Les Masterson
Boston real estate finished 2013 quite similarly to the rest of the year.
The city overall saw a pretty steady year with home sale figures slightly higher than 2012 and median sale prices slightly lower.
- December 2012 sales: 3
- December 2013 sales: 4
- Year-to-date 2012 sales: 49
- Year-to-date 2013 sales: 59
- December 2012 median sale price: $1,960,000
- December 2013 median sale price: $1,732,563
- Year-to-date 2012 median sale price: $1,950,000
- Year-to-date 2013 median sale price: $2,110,000
- December 2012 sales: 106
- December 2013 sales: 136
- Year-to-date 2012 sales: 1,410
- Year-to-date 2013 sales: 1,515
- December 2012 median sale price: $329,750
- December 2013 median sale price: $329,500
- Year-to-date 2012 median sale price: $323,375
- Year-to-date 2013 median sale price: $365,000
Throughout Massachusetts, home sales dropped by less than 1 percent in December 2013 compared to the previous year. That was the second consecutive month home sales decreased and the fewest home sales since April 2013, according to The Warren Group.
Overall, Massachusetts saw a nearly 5 percent increase from the previous year and the fourth quarter increased by 4.5 percent over the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Low inventory combined with increasing interest rates have slowed the market at the end of 2013," said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. "Sales and prices set a torrid pace in the third quarter of 2013 and through October. Now the market is taking a breather."
The median price of a single-family home rose from $300,000 in December 2012 to $311,125 in December 2013. That’s the 15th straight month of year-over-year increases in median price of a single-family home. Massachusetts saw a 10 percent increase for the entire year of 2013 compared to the previous year.
“The year ended with buyer demand still strong,” said 2014 Massachusetts Association of Realtors President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co., in Norwell. “While interest rates are expected to rise, we’re hopeful the increases will be modest and spread over time as purchase power diminishes when rates get higher.”
Throughout 2013, Realtors lamented the lack of homes for sale, but they’re hopeful that increased sale prices will drive more homeowners to put their homes on the market.
“While 2013 will be remembered for a lack of homes for sale, price increases have improved overall home equity, which should help push sellers into the market in 2014,” said Ruffini.