Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends and people you would not otherwise notice. Follow him on Twitter and check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.
Amidst headlines of fewer September home sales, I recently took the temperature of the Hub condo market. I found it more than just a little hot.
In October, 37 percent of the Boston condo sales I tracked sold for more than their asking price. In nine of the most active and valuable Hub condo markets*, 44 percent of the condos I tracked sold for over asking. Additionally, I noted six condos that sold at least $100,000 over asking and 26 that sold at least $50,000 more. That might not be June condo sales heat, but when nearly half of October's condos sales sell over asking, it's a pretty good case for Global Condo Warming.
While October sales prices were high, the local "for sale" condo inventory remained low. As of Monday morning, only 605 Boston condos were on market. That's down around 8 percent from a year ago. And although 8 percent may not seem like a significant drop in inventory, on the same date in 2011, there were 1,354 Boston condos on market. In other words, our already thin condo inventory recently went on a serious diet.
Multiple-listing-service reports show that 375 Boston condos went under agreement in October. At that rate of demand, Boston would sell every condominium currently for sale in just over one-and-a-half months. As well, at the current sales pace, the nine most active and valuable condo markets I tracked would sell out in 1.2 months. Put another way: Only Tom Brady posted better October numbers.
It's a tricky time of year and I'm not a condominium market doctor, but I'm going to suggest the Hub market go on a strict diet of building permits, zoning appeals and condominium conversions. This high-protein regimen would put the market in excellent condition for spring, the busiest real estate season. And, just to be on the safe side, a little later today I'm going to take the condo scene for a flu shot. There's no sense taking chances with the health of this market.
*Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, South Boston, and the South End
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]