Like most metro markets around the country, Boston, Massachusetts, saw home and condominium sales stall and halt in the early months of the pandemic. Then May and June 2020 dawned and the race to the suburbs began. And the pace has not slowed as sales activity and sales price numbers continue to hit historic highs.
Catherine Bassick, co-founder of Boston-based Bassick Real Estate Advisors, has almost two decades of real estate sales experience in California and Greater Boston. “The third quarter proved a healthy real estate market for Bostonians, with the number of homes on the market down 20% while sales soared 37%,” she says.
“Combined, this increased demand meant sellers enjoyed an average 5% increase in the median selling price of their condominiums, with homes on average selling for 100% of their original asking prices,” Bassick says. “With the greatest number of sales on record for a third quarter in Boston ever, 2021 is ending on a number of recording-breaking notes.”
Boston’s in-town condominium market faltered during the early stages of the pandemic. From Beacon Hill to Back Bay to the Seaport areas heavy with condominiums, no one seemed to want to buy in these urban neighborhoods. Fast forward to the second half of 2021 and condominiums are once again in demand. November 2021 year-to-date closed sales, according to the Massachusetts Assn. of Realtors, rose 44%. The median sales price for November 2021 hit $690,000 for those condominiums, up from $638,500 a year earlier.
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“Within the last four to five months the market has skyrocketed. There is little inventory and what does come on the market sells immediately,” Bassick explains.
Even in the $8 million and up single-family home sector, Bassick is seeing properties hitting the market and selling quickly. “There are multiple offers on big houses and anything that was being built as new construction is already sold,” she says.
Bassick is seeing the same pattern in Greater Boston communities such as Weston and Wellesley, where most sales fall into the luxury category of a million dollars and up. “I’m writing almost all cash offers, since many buyers have that cash from the stock market for a home. When we get rid of a financing contingency in an offer, we are much stronger than others that have that.”
To best serve her clients in this most competitive market, Bassick leverages her strong relationships with other brokers and agents to help get her into preview properties for a “pre-inspection.” “This is what we have to do to compete,” she says.
Bassick looks forward to seeing the final 2021 results and what’s ahead for 2022. “Early indicators … continue to show strength in the market, with sellers looking for their window of opportunity to get the greatest value out of their homes, and buyers eager to enter a market where they see strong appreciation in value.”
Look to Boston’s luxury market to attract new buyers relocating to the area for well-paying jobs in both tech and bioscience.
Bassick Real Estate Advisors is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.