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Boston condo prices down as inventory of available homes jumps

But it’s not translating into more sales—at least not yet

A row of newly constructed three-story condo buildings. Shutterstock

Boston condo prices dropped at the end of the summer, though that did not necessarily translate into more sales.

The median sales price of Boston condos dropped 4.4 percent in September, to $645,000, compared with the same month in 2018. It was also down year to date 3 percent, to $649,000, compared with the same point in 2018.

What’s more, the average sales price per square foot was down 0.7 percent annually in September, to $763, and down from August 1.4 percent.

This is all according to a recent report covering closed deals in the city from real estate research firm the Warren Group and the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.

Why the price drops? It most likely has to do with what drove such drops across the wider region at the end of summer: a rise in available homes to buy. Simply put, prospective buyers had more condos to choose from in Boston, and that helped draw down prices.

The number of active listings was up annually 10 percent and 24.3 percent from August. The number of new condo listings was up 18.5 percent annually and 137.4 percent monthly. And the months of inventory—that is, the time it would take to buy everything that’s out there—stood at 4.1 months by the end of September, a 17.1 percent annual increase and an 86.4 percent one from August.

Regionally, the number of active condo listings was up 8.7 percent annually in September and 22.1 percent monthly, according to the Warren-GBAR report, which tracked 64 municipalities. The median sales price regionally was $549,000 in September, down 4.1 percent from September 2018 and 3.5 percent from August.

Interestingly enough, the drops in condo prices in Boston proper did not necessarily translate into more sales—rather the opposite. The number of sales was down 7.7 percent annually and 34.9 percent monthly, and is trending sharply downward for the year.

This could all just be the calm before the buying storm, however, given the rises in inventory. Sales were up slightly region-wide in September, and it seems prices will not creep back up, according to the realtors association.

“With sale prices having begun to stabilize, more homes and condos available for sale, and properties sitting on the market longer, home values have most likely peaked in many areas,” Jim Major, president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors and an agent with Century 21 North East in Woburn, said in a statement. Stay tuned.