Greater Boston’s housing market had a record-setting year in 2021, hitting all-time highs for both prices and number of sales.
And local real estate groups predict more of the same in 2022, as long as there are enough houses to buy.
The Greater Boston Association of Realtors on Tuesday said the median price of a single-family home hit $750,000 for the year, up 10.5 percent from 2020, while condo prices climbed 6.6 percent to a median of $625,000. Both figures reflect new price records for the group, which monitors 64 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.
Also setting a record: The number of homes sold, which topped mid-2000s levels despite sky-high prices and generally tight supply. Home sales jumped 5.4 percent compared with 2020 while condo sales roared back from the depths of the pandemic, up 32 percent.
“Last year was an unprecedented one for the housing market that defied all odds,” said GBAR President Melvin Vieira, Jr., agent at RE/MAX Destiny in Cambridge. “The fact that there were more homes and condos sold in 2021 than at any other time, despite record high prices, a shortage of properties to sell, and the many unique challenges presented by the pandemic, really speaks to the resiliency of the Boston area real estate market and just how favorable the economic and demographic factors are for housing right now.”
Those price gains held steady through the year, but sales gradually tailed off as the number of homes available on the market dipped in the fall. In December, the number of single-family homes listed for sale was down 40 percent compared with the year prior, while new listings were off by nearly one-fifth.
The low inventory and high prices have prompted some buyers to delay their search until spring, in the hopes that conditions improve — ideally before interest rates climb off their near-record lows and eat into buyers’ purchasing power.
“The desire to buy remains strong with many eager to act before mortgage rates rise further,” Vieira said. “The challenge is finding a property to purchase if you’re trading-up.”
And there are signs already this year of a spring thaw. Single-family listings climbed 15 percent in the first two weeks of January — typically a slow period in Boston’s highly-seasonal market — and agents report strong foot traffic at showings this month.
“We think that’s a good sign we will have another busy spring market,” Vieira said. “Though likely not as frenzied as last year.”
Tim Logan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.