January is usually a quiet month for home sales and this year was no exception. In fact, the past two years have been the exception and this January is far more typical in terms of levels of activity. The number of listings sold compares more closely to January 2020 (pre-covid), and increased by more than 50% in Lincoln and Winchester. Days on market have increased since the crazy days of last spring, and that, coupled with the slow time of year, leads to some rather large jumps in percentages. Don’t be alarmed – it’s actually good news for everyone that buyers now have time to take a breath and make a solid, considered offer that is more likely to result in a successful sale rather than buyer’s remorse.
That said, we are still seeing some of the uplift from the vibrant housing market of 2021-22. Prices remain solid in our popular towns and suburbs north of Boston, with towns such as Acton and Concord even posting increases on last year’s already high prices. The sale to list price ratio has also held up, although buyers will be relieved to see homes are no longer selling for 10-15% over the list price. Homes in Bedford, Lexington and Westford sold for an average of 99% of the list price in January, and Acton and Carlisle averaged 1% over the list price. Accurate pricing is critical in this early spring market – which is where your experienced agent comes into their own. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty realtors work collaboratively to pool the expertise of our 150+ agents to ensure they are pricing accurately given the current market.
The great news for buyers is that inventory is on the up. Compared to last year there has been a marked increase in the number of homes on the market across the region. Available listings jumped over 200% in Concord and Lexington. A welcome relief to buyers, but good news too for the many sellers are also buyers. There was a real conflict last year for those wanted to put their home on the market but were concerned they would not be able to find anywhere to move to. A more balanced market is fairer for everyone.
For both buyers and sellers, there are clear advantages to this early spring market. If you are considering listing your home, it pays to act early and be among a small number of choices, rather than wait for late spring and find yourself competing with many other similar homes. Likewise, buyers have the pick of homes right now and, with fewer people looking, the time to shop around. If 2023 is the year to make your move, talk to one of our experienced realtors now and get the jump on the competition.