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Where Boston-area sellers are likeliest to get more than their asking price

Malden and Cambridge were relatively rife with over-asks in 2019, while Boston proper saw relatively few

A busy subway station with people walking in different directions toward outgoing and incoming train lines. Shutterstock

A recent Zillow analysis showed that 34.7 percent of sold homes in the Boston area in 2019 sold for over their asking price. That was a 40 percent drop from 2018—and a similarly steep drop from 2017—showcasing just how much the region’s housing market has moderated in recent months.

Time was, bidding wars and over-asks were much more common in the Boston region’s housing market. Those trends appear to have passed by and large—but, in some places more than others, the over-asks at least are holding on (and, one presumes, the bidding wars, too, as over-asks usually follow those).

The Zillow analysis—which tracked 2019 deals in which the site could match a listing’s original price with its final sale price—showed that 53.6 percent of Malden homes sold last year for over their asking price. In Cambridge, 50.7 percent did. In Lynn and Lawrence, the share of overasks was 48.9 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively.

From there, things start to drop off regionally. In Medford, 46.1 percent of sold homes traded for over asking. In Haverhill, Waltham, and Somerville, around 41 percent did. Sellers were least likeliest to get over their asking price in Newton, Quincy, and Boston—not even a third saw over-asks in any of three.

The reason for the relatively paltry shares has to do with a shifting housing market. Sales have dropped and prices have come down—why bid aggressively over? The silver lining for sellers—or for buyers who plan to sell later on—is that inventory remains tight, and the region continues to slap on residents amid a strong local economy. Stay tuned.