This Pinnacle Report examines 2021 residential property sales in Wellesley and Weston year over year from 2020. We always begin with a snapshot of statewide activity but remind you that data varies from town to town and one price range to another. The Massachusetts single-family median price rose 15% to $530,000. When the volume of sales changes at price extremes, it is reflected by an increase (or decrease) in the median – and thus does not provide an accurate measure of appreciation, although we often see it erroneously reported as such. It does show the composition of the sales. Housing Price Indices can provide more reliable estimates but, ultimately, matched sales provide the most refined data for changes in value. In 2021, the number of home sales over $3M rose 14% (more moderated growth than 2020, when sales rose 33% over 2019). In contrast, the number of transactions under $500,000 declined 14% (fewer homes, rising prices). The actual total number of sales was relatively flat. As we begin 2022, the total available supply is 27% less than a year ago. The resilient condominium and townhouse market, after a decline in 2020, has made a strong comeback. The overall sales volume has increased 19% and the median has risen 13%. The most remarkable increases have been in the luxury tiers, where the number of units that sold over $3M has doubled from 2020. As we begin 2022, the available condo supply is 40% lower than it was a year ago. Wellesley Single-Family: The total number of Multiple Listing Service sales declined 5% from 2020, the overall median rose 2.8% and homes sold nearly twice as fast. An examination by price range provides a more finely tuned perspective. The number of homes that sold for less than $1M dropped sharply – by nearly half - because of lack of supply. In 2020 there were 65 homes listed for sale with asking prices under $1M but only 34 in 2021. Many of these sales prices were driven well over $1M by multiple offers – 19 of them out of 29 sales. More young buyers are now entirely priced out of Wellesley. There were more home sales in all ranges except $1.5-$2M where 20% of those sales were driven up into the next tier by very active trade-up buyers in bidding wars. Prices rose from 3% to over 10%, depending upon the range and home condition. (We noted that if we isolated the sales that occurred during the second quarter, prices were higher to varying extents. Timing, as they say, is everything.) The Wellesley Supply Side: The total number of homes offered for sale in MLS was 378. With 329 sales, not all were absorbed by the market, demonstrating that even in these times of intense demand and a record low supply, effective marketing and accurate pricing remain essential to whether or not a home sells. Of all houses that did sell in 2021, ‘the off-market,’ or non-MLS sales represented 15% of the total (58), a slight increase from 2020. As we begin 2022, we have just 7 single-family homes on the market – down from 19 this time last year. It’s important to note that the supply had been dwindling well before the start of the pandemic in early 2020. In fact, in January 2017 there were twice as many homes offered for sale as there were in January 2019 (75 and 37, respectively). Weston: Due to space constraints, a discussion of year over year market activity is only available on-line or through one of our agents. Local Condos and Townhomes: In Wellesley, there were 42 MLS unit sales compared to 33 in 2020. The median price of those units rose just 2% but they sold 20% faster. Most of the luxury units at Fieldstone Way are still pending and will close in 2022. At other developments, brokers report that there have been many buyers reserving to-be-built luxury units that are optimistically planned for completion sometime late in 2022. This should be reflected by a significant rise in the median in our next report.
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