Jul 12, 2022 - Real Estate

Boston's real estate market is cooling, slightly

Illustration of a downward trend line over a house

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

With pending home sales down and new listings up from last year, Boston's real estate market is showing early signs of slowing down. But prices are still up 11.3% from May 2021.

Why it matters: We keep hearing that a market crash is coming, but so far local data doesn't follow that claim.

Yes, but: Monthly data show early signs of a cooler market, even if it's slight.

<b style='color: #8a0098'>New listings</b> and <b style='color: #00ab58'>pending sales</b> of Boston-area homes
Data: Redfin; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

What's happening: From May 2021 to May 2022, new listings were up 3.7% and pending sales were down 3%.

  • More buyers are holding off as home ownership becomes too expensive. Meanwhile, sellers don't want to miss out on peak home sale prices.
  • This comes after mortgage rates surpassed 5% for the first time in 10 years.

Zoom out: Nationally, mortgage applications were down 24%, and on average 6.5% of sellers dropped their asking price each week in June, per Redfin's latest market update.

  • In June, national pending home sales were down 13% from the same time last year — the largest decline since May 2020, Redfin's report stated.

Be smart: Inventory is still critically low overall, which continues to push home prices up.

What we're watching: New listings and pending sales. If more listings flood the market this summer and people don't bite, that's when we would start to see more power shift into buyers' hands.

The bottom line: We're not seeing major changes in Boston just yet, but we're starting to see early signs of a cooling market.


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