The inventory of homes for sale in Massachusetts — nationwide, actually — has been declining for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse. High demand, a dearth of inventory, and low interest rates are pushing the Boston area’s high real estate prices even higher. And housing experts say the end is nowhere in sight.
It’s not that homes aren’t selling. In each of the past three years, a little more than 103,000 condos, single-family, and multifamily homes were sold, according to data from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. The problem? There are many more buyers than homes for sale. Many homes sell quickly, some for over the asking price, and buyers often have to submit bids on multiple homes over many months before they get an offer accepted.
In June, inventory dipped below one month’s worth, according to an analysis of Multiple Listing Service data. An inventory of three to four months is generally considered a balanced market. When inventory is higher than that, it’s a buyer’s market. The current market favors sellers heavily, but that’s not just bad for buyers; rents are tied to home prices. Housing costs in Greater Boston are rising for everyone.
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