October’s housing market statistics are in, but unlike previous months they do not tell a clear story. Yes, sold prices are up in some towns, but down slightly in others compared to October 2020. Days on market continue to drop, but not everywhere - although it will be some comfort to buyers searching in places such as Concord and Winchester to finally have time to take a breath during their home search. The median house price has risen almost everywhere, which tends to indicate an overall rise in prices, but in towns such as Bedford and Lincoln, where fewer than 10 single family homes were sold this month, we are working with a very small sample.
So, is this the “slowdown” that everyone has been talking about? There are a few factors to take into account when considering this. Firstly, October 2020 was not a typical Fall month, with the effect of the summer easing of pandemic restrictions combined with the concern that things were about to get worse again encouraging people to bring forward their moving plans. So we expect a certain amount of difference when looking at a more typical October this year. Market volume is down significantly from 2020, except in Carlisle where it has more than doubled since last year! If we were to compare those numbers to 2019 though, we can see healthy increases in towns such as Lexington, Lincoln and Westford. There is also still a crunch on inventory in many of our towns - one statistic that is consistent is the number of available listings is down compared to 2020, by more than 60% in Acton and Concord. So although buyers may be getting some respite from the rush of having to make offers, there still is not an abundance of homes to choose from in most markets.
Heading into November and the quieter winter months, we can expect to see an adjustment in the market. But despite these fluctuations, it is still the case that a well-priced home in a popular area will move quickly, and buyers need to be prepared for that. For sellers, the importance of working with an experienced agent who can accurately price and effectively market your home cannot be emphasized enough.