Housing market trends can greatly influence real estate decisions across the board. Whether you’re buying, selling, or investing, it’s important to understand how the market in your local area tends to behave, how it’s behaved in the past, and how it’s likely to behave in the future.

Understanding the types of things that can affect the housing market is also important. For instance, new legislation can sometimes influence the way prices or home values look. The economy can have a drastic impact on the housing market. Even the weather and the season in which you’re conducting real estate transactions can act as influential factors that you’ll have to take into consideration.

But where do you start your search? How do you know what to look for and what kinds of information you should be seeking out?

The best way to obtain a thorough understanding of the Massachusetts market you’re interested in is to hire a local real estate agent who has experience and knows what to expect. However, doing your own research and starting with a baseline understanding of the market can be helpful, too.

Here’s what you should know about Massachusetts real estate market trends in 2019.

2019 Real Estate Market Forecast for Massachusetts

Overall, the real estate market in the United States is strong. The median home value is $226,700 with a median sale price of $232,700 and a median list price of $285,000. Home values in Massachusetts have risen by 6.6% in the last year and are expected to rise another 4.1% in the coming year.

In Massachusetts, the median home value is $409,600, the median list price is $455,000, and the median sale price is $378,600. While home values here are well above the national average, they’re also expected to rise. In the last year, home values in the state of Massachusetts have risen by 4.8% and are expected to rise another 3.4% in the coming year.

Another positive point for Massachusetts is that only 4.2% of homes have negative equity associated with them, which is well below the national average of 8.2%. While this might worry investors, it’s a great sign for buyers and sellers. Plus, there are still plenty of great investment opportunities, especially since 12.1% of listings have a price cut associated with them.

Since 2000, the market in Massachusetts has consistently appreciated, climbing 12.33% in the last two years alone. Of course, where you are in Massachusetts has a lot to do with what you can expect to experience.

Since so much variance exists between locations, it’s important to work closely with a local real estate agent who has experience in the market you’re interested in or selling in so they can provide you with expert guidance.

When is the Best Time to Sell a House in Massachusetts in 2019?

In the Boston metro area, most new listings hit the market in April (with 7,100 new listings on average), May (with 7,300), and June (with 7,200). Getting your home listed in that first batch of listings can help shorten the time your home is on the market.

If your home has been on the market for a while, it might be worth taking it off the market right before the months with the newest listings and relisting it during that time, as well.

Additionally, the highest inventory is seen in May, June, and August with 17,000 homes on the market in May and August and 19,000 homes on the market in June. Of course, selling your home when there’s a lot of inventory is both a good thing, because a lot of people are shopping, and a challenge, since the competition is so high.

Finally, most homes sell above list price in March, April, and May. In March, 38.8% of homes traditionally sell above list. In May that number is about 39.3%, and in April a staggering 40.8% of homes tend to sell above list.

Obviously, selling your home when you have the best chance of selling above the list price is the best option, if you have it.

Taking all of these considerations together, if you want the best chance of selling your home for the highest amount, being included in the first batch of listings, and slightly beating the fever pitch of competition that happens later in spring and into summer, April is the best time to list your home.

However, this data can shift depending on which metro area and even which city you’re listing in, so be sure to consult with your real estate agent for expert guidance.

When is the Best Time to Buy a House in Massachusetts in 2019?

For buyers, the best combination of conditions exists when you can purchase just outside of the most competitive months, score the best price, be able to choose from a decent inventory, and have the best chance of getting a discount.

In the Boston metro area, the months with the highest number of new listings that are just outside of peak season are March, July, and September. March typically sees about 6,600 new listings, July sees about 5,500, and September wins with 7,000 new listings.

You’re also most likely to find the lowest prices in October, November, and December. In October, about 21.1% of homes sell above list. In November, that’s around 16.6%, and in December it’s around 16.7%. However, all of these are preferable to the percentage of homes that sell above list during the spring and summer.

As for inventory, the best inventory outside of peak season exists in September and October with September seeing around 17,000 homes on the market and October seeing around 16,000. July also sees around 16,000 homes on the market, but you have to deal with less favorable conditions where pricing and competition are concerned.

Finally, most discounts occur during June, September, and October. In June, about 14.3% of homes have an associated discount. In September that percentage is around 14.6%, and in October about 16.4% of homes listed have a discount associated with them.

Taking these data together, you’re likely to experience the least amount of competition, the highest number of discounts, the lowest prices, and a decent inventory if you purchase outside of peak season during the months of September and October.

If you can’t wait that long and you’re okay with a little competition and slightly higher prices, July is the runner up.

Again, this is taking into consideration the Boston metro area, so you’ll want to consult with your real estate agent for the best and most accurate information.

Next Steps

Whether you’re selling, buying, or both, the first step you should take is to partner with a local, experienced real estate agent. Only a local agent can provide you with the guidance and support you need and inform you of market-specific factors you may not have discovered on your own.

Whether it’s timing the market, pricing competitively, making competitive offers, strategizing, or negotiating effectively, a real estate agent can help you navigate the process and walk away with the best chance at an optimal outcome.

Clever can help. Fill out our online form, and we’ll put you in touch with a top-performing real estate agent in the specific market you’re interested in. Clever Partner Agents work on a flat-fee basis while still offering full-service support, which can save you thousands while still providing you to access top-quality services.