Report: Home Sales Down in Lexington

Lexington's slight downturn in home sales over a year ago mirrors activity across the commonwealth, but bucks the trend in Middlesex County.


With the low housing inventory creating bidding wars and stagnating home sales across Massachusetts, home sales in Lexington so far this year have reflected both of those dynamics, according to a recent report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

According to the report, single-family home sales through February are down more than 16 percent from last year, with 31 homes sold the first two months of 2013, compared to 37 sales during the same time period last year. However, the median sale price on those transactions checks in at a healthy 20-plus percent higher, at $810,000 compared to $672,000 in 2012.

Similarly, condo sales have fallen off from last year in terms of number, but the median sale price has risen significantly.

According to the Warren Group report, 4 condos sold in January and February of this year, with the median sale price of $575,000. That’s a 20.71 percent increase over the the $469,000 median sale price for the 14 condos sold during the same timeframe last year.

Breaking It Down By County

Middlesex County home sales enjoyed a modest increase in February, staving off the dip across Massachusetts, which saw a drop in sales for the first time since December 2011, according to a recent report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Middlesex County saw 487 home sales in February, which was a modest increase over the 481 home sales in February 2012, a 1.25 percent increase. Dovetailing on an even stronger January, home sales are up by 5.56 percent overall in Middlesex County this year compared to a year ago, according to The Warren Group.

Median sale price in Middlesx County in February 2013 was up 9 percent compared to February 2012 even better than the overall 2013 median sale price, which is up 5.87 percent over last year.

Over the entire state, home sales dropped 5 percent in February compared to a year ago. It was the first drop since December 2011.

"Two factors caused this modest drop in February: low inventory and a comparison with a strong previous year of sales," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. "Even so, I'm still hopeful for a strong spring market. As more sellers list their homes in the spring, activity will pick back up."

Median sale prices are up across Massachusetts, which Warren connected to low inventory.

"With such low inventory, we're seeing bidding wars - homes selling above the asking price," Warren said. "As prices rise, more sellers will begin to list their property which in turn pumps up sales volume."

Local real estate agent and Patch blogger Zur Attias, of the Concord-based Attias Group Real Estate, has written about these trends, posting about the declining inventory pushing prices upward and navigating a more seller-driven market.

Read a couple of those posts here:

  • Navigating the Shifting Market

Massachustts Single-Family Home les by county

Feb. 2012 Feb. 2013 % change Barnstable Feb. sales 163 182 11.66% YTD sales 416 401 -3.61% Feb median sale price $265,000 $328,000 23.77% YTD median sale price $297,500 $320,000 7.56% Bristol Feb. sales 156 177 13.46% YTD sales 336 361 7.44% Feb. median sale price $216,250 $209,700 -3.03% YTD median sale price $210,000 $220,000 4.76% Dukes Feb. sales 26 11 -57.69% YTD sales 48 22 -54.17% Feb. median sale price $556,345 $555,000 -1.14% YTD median sale price $551,250 $558,500 1.32% Essex Feb. sales 273 254 -6.96% YTD sales 493 517 4.87% Feb. median sale price $270,000 $300,000 11.11% YTD median sale price $283,000 $293,000 3.53% Middlesex Feb. sales 481 487 1.25% YTD sales 971 1,025 5.56% Feb. median sale price $330,000 $360,000 9.09% YTD median sale price $349,500 $370,000 5.87% Nantucket Feb. sales 12 19 -25% YTD sales 19 11 -42.11% Feb. median sale price $737,007 $766,500 4% YTD median sale price $765,000 $766,500 .20% Norfolk Feb. sales 285 237 -16.84% YTD sales 571 584 2.28% Feb. median sale price $325,000 $326,000 .31% YTD median sale price $325,000 $355,000 9.23% Plymouth Feb. sales 266 232 -12.78% YTD sales 495 490 -1.01% Feb. median sale price $224,450 $271,000 20.74% YTD median sale price $230,000 $260,000 13.04% Suffolk Feb. sales 75 80 6.67% YTD sales 151 166 9.93% Feb. median sale price $238,700 $333,000 39.51% YTD median sale price $245,000 $333,000 37.96% Worcester Feb. sales 323 298 -7.74% YTD sales 677 670 -1.03% Feb. median sale price $174,000 $200,000 14.94% YTD median sale price $180,000 $198,250 10.14% MASSACHUSETTS Feb. sales 2,366 2,246 -5.07% YTD sales 4,802 4,833 .65% Feb. median sale price $245,000 $275,000 12.24% YTD median sale price $250,750 $279,900 11.63%

Source: The Warren Group

Julie Duncan March 27, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Since many people simply read headlines, this is a very misleading headline. "Sales are down". It could be misconstrued as the market is not as good in Lexington. Far from the case! It is also something we have been hearing for the last several years because PRICES were down. For people who read the whole article that is clear, but I would prefer headlines that reflect the spirit of the article. In Lexington, 31 vs. 37 homes sold in 2013 vs. 2012 could be well served by the knowledge that this is due to inventory, we just don't have it. Median prices are up from $672,000 to $810,000. Many homes are going under contract quickly and with multiple offers. Although this info is in the article, as a real estate Broker, having an informed community and that includes people who only have time to skim headlines. It can't do anything but help home sellers decide when it is the right time to sell. Thanks for listening!
Patrick Ball (Editor) March 27, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Thanks, Julie, that's a fair point you raise. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough space in a headline to always tell the whole story, which in this case I think is the limited available inventory's impact on sale price and volume. Still, a better headline probably would ave been something like "Home Sales Dip While Prices Climb." Thanks for reading and responding! -pb


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