The Central Massachusetts housing market has fared much better than expected this winter. The Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) reported that sales of new homes rose strongly in January. While this may be partially attributed to the unusually mild winter, the market is still outperforming most expectations. Sales are expected to rise even further in Shrewsbury this spring, as many buyers are looking for refuge from steep prices in Boston.
The GBAR states that data from December and January shows that the market is expected to rise stronger in the spring. They stated that the market usually slows down during the early winter months, so unusual patterns of growth during this time generally indicate a strong market in the spring.
The market for condos may be particularly strong this spring. The GBAR reports that condo prices rose 8.4% over the past year, while single family homes only rose by 3.7%. The accelerating demand for condos could be due to a growing number of young, single adults relocating to the area for new employment.
While these figures are encouraging so far, Zillow experts believe that the high price of housing in urban regions could eventually dissuade buyers. “I do think at some point we are going to start pushing up against the fact that it is actually quite expensive to buy a home,” Svenja Gudell, a chief economist at Zillow told Boston.com. “Even smaller increases will start to deter some homebuyers.”
Of course, people relocating to the Boston area will need to live somewhere. Few will want to keep spending money on rent, so they may choose to purchase homes in Shrewsbury and other small Central Massachusetts communities to build equity.
Some economic variables still cast some uncertainty on the local housing market. Fed rate hikes and an unpredictable economic environment could threaten future. However, most data has been encouraging so far, so experts are unlikely to taper their forecasts anytime soon.