Stunning figures. In all Boston neighborhoods combined, year-to-date as of May 31, the average selling price for condominiums is up 12% to $542K. The number of condo sales is up 19% to 1,443. Total dollar volume is up 20% to $782,000,000. The number of condos available for sale is down an amazing 65% from the same time last year, from 2,132 to 1,293 condos for sale today.
The story continues to be inventory, yet the number of sales in downtown Boston neighborhoods is up markedly or at least even with last year, except in Dorchester where the number of sales was down 17% and where inventory was down 36%.
In Back Bay the number of condominium sales is up 27% to 166 sales against 131 last year. The average sales price is down 7% to $1,154K and inventory is down 34% to only 174 condos on the market as compared to 264 last year. The total dollar volume of condominium sales year to date in the Back Bay is $191M.
In the most popular Boston neighborhood, the South End, the number of sales is up 25% to 186 against 149 last year. The average sales price for a condo year to date is equal to last year at $678K. The unbelievable story in the South End is that the inventory of properties for sale is down 49% to 122 from 241 last year.
The pressure on existing inventory is acute. The fact that we are seeing both a substantial increase in sales units and a substantial decrease in inventory for sale has created an uncomfortable balance between buyer engagement and frustration.
Jamiaca Plain is experiencing the same dynamic as the South End. The average condominium sale price year to date is $363K, a 4% increase from $348K last year. The number of sales has increased 33% to 120 from 90 in 2011. The number of available condominium properties for sale is 96, a 41% decrease from 162 available last year.
South Boston, our “other” hot neighborhood saw a 27% increase in the number of sold properties to 183 versus 144 sold last year. The average selling price for a condominium year to date increased 3% to $412K from $399K last year. The number of available condos for sale decreased 57% to 112 against 261 last year at this time.
In most downtown neighborhoods the sustainability of high sales numbers in light of the huge decreases in inventory levels poses a real challenge for market balance. As always market forces will come into play. We have begun to see this in the increases in sales prices. Barring a substantial increase in inventory this trend will continue.