Median home prices hit $900,000, but a slowdown might be near

Median home prices hit $900,000, but a slowdown might be near

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

The region’s real estate market reached a new milestone in June: The median selling price of a single-family home hit $900,000 for the first time, up almost 11 percent from the same month last year, according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.

But other data released on Tuesday by the realtors group suggested that the market is starting to level off, as higher prices and steeper mortgage rates pushed monthly payments beyond the means of some prospective buyers. The number of single-family homes sold fell 9.1 percent in June from a year earlier despite a more than 30 percent surge in active listings. The premium paid over asking price slipped to 7.6 percent from 9 percent.

Comparable metropolitan areas, including Austin, Denver, and Portland, are seeing similar trends. Agents and analysts expect inventories of homes for sale to continue to expand as demand weakens, taking some of the pressure off prices in many of the markets that took off during the pandemic.

“We are going back to a more normal real estate market,” Melvin Vieira, president of the Greater Boston realtors group, said in an interview. “Prices are going to even themselves out. You are not going to see as many multiple bids.”

In the Boston-area condominium market, the median sale price rose 9.4 percent over the past year to $700,000. Units sold fell 15 percent as inventories dropped and premiums above asking price edged up.

Statewide, the picture is somewhat different than in the 64 communities inside the I-495 belt that comprise the Greater Boston market.

The state’s median price — the level at which half the properties sold for more and half sold for less —rose 9.4 percent for single-family homes last month to a record $629,000, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. The median condo price rose 8.5 percent to $545,000, also a new high. The number of active listings for both categories declined.

In Massachusetts, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is about 5.6 percent, according to data from Bankrate.com. That’s up from 3 percent a year ago.

Using a standard 20 percent down payment on the $900,000 median price in Greater Boston, the monthly mortgage payment would be $4,130, not including property taxes and homeowners insurance. In June 2021, when the median price was $811,500, the monthly tab would have been about $2,740, a 50 percent increase in the past year.

With affordability plunging, house hunters are reconsidering their search criteria, said Vieira of the Greater Boston realtors association.

“The buyers’ whole mindset is shifting,” he said. “I’m seeing shifts in the types of properties and locations they are looking at. Some people are putting off buying decisions.”


Larry Edelman can be reached at larry.edelman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeNewsEd.


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