After a frenzied spring, Greater Boston’s housing market is settling into something slightly closer to normal. A very, very expensive normal, of course, but something a little more balanced.
Prices for both single-family homes and condos in the region again hit record highs in June, according to new figures out this week from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors and other trade groups. But the number of new listings climbed — perhaps as would-be sellers see sky-high prices and decide to take what they can get — and the bidding wars of this spring have faded just a bit, said association president Dino Confalone.
“We think the market is poised to catch its breath,” said Confalone, an agent at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Cambridge. “We expect sales to slow and the run-up in prices to ease in the second half of the year, as the current level of activity isn’t sustainable.”
Still, for sales that closed in June, things were hot.
The median price for a single-family home in the 64 Boston-area cities and towns the association covers climbed to $811,000, 19 percent higher than the same month last year. Condo prices jumped too, up 9 percent to $643,750. Both figures were record highs, reflecting a furious run-up in prices since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and homebuyers — eager for a place of their own and somewhere to stretch out — bid up prices, particularly on single-family homes in suburban towns.
Sales volume also accelerated, not just from the artificial lows of last spring’s COVID shutdowns but from prepandemic levels in 2019 as well. Sales of single-family homes ran 14 percent ahead of their pace in June 2019, while condo sales climbed 27 percent from 2019, to hit a record high for the month.
That’s a good sign for the market, Confalone said, reflecting interest from both buyers and sellers, after months when the playing field was tilted entirely in sellers’ favor.
“It has been a spring for the ages. Just when it appears the market can’t get any hotter, it does,” he said. “It began with traffic jams and buyers waiting in the snow for an hour or more to enter open houses and culminated in June with the single busiest month for sales ever in our market.”
The gains extended beyond Greater Boston. Prices and sales volume were both up across Massachusetts, according to The Warren Group, which tracks real estate data statewide. The median price for a single-family home hit $555,000 in June, while for condos it was $489,000. And that figure grew consistently across the state, with year-over-year median prices for single-family homes climbing at least 15 percent in 13 of Massachusetts’s 14 counties.
The condo market, which is largely concentrated in Boston and neighboring urban communities, is rebounding too, said Warren Group chief executive Tim Warren, and that suggests a recovery that is broadly shared across Massachusetts.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Warren said. “Housing activity in urban centers, which is heavily dominated by the condo market, is back after taking a considerable hit during the second quarter last year.”