The monthly median sale price of a single-family home has been climbing since March 2016, but real estate market watchers said Wednesday the record-setting streak could soon come to an end due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Warren Group reported that the median sale prices for single-family homes and condominiums increased last month to all-time highs for the month of February — $380,000, up 4.1% from $365,000 in February 2019, for single-family homes, and a 16.6% increase to $400,000 for condos.
Single-family home sales dipped in February to 2,673, a 5.3% decrease from February 2019. The 1,402 condos sold in February represented a 13.6% increase and the greatest number of transactions recorded in the month of February since 2007, the Warren Group said.
"However, with economic uncertainty perpetuated by COVID-19 and Massachusetts essentially at a standstill, we can expect the number of single-family home sales and the median sale price to take a hit in the coming months," CEO Tim Warren said.
On a podcast the Warren Group published, Warren said that the data for March will likely show "fairly normal and consistent trends" because it will mostly reflect homes that went under contract before the coronavirus pandemic really upended life. The real effects of the "economic chaos" will show up in second-quarter data.
"Unfortunately, the upcoming quarter is the start of the big spring market. A slowdown is inevitable," Warren said. "People who feel that their jobs are at risk, have been also seeing their investments and retirement accounts shrink, those people are not going to be home shopping aggressively in the second quarter."
~ Colin A. Young/SHNS