Here’s How the Greater Boston Housing Market Fared in January 2023

Buyers are back and realizing these prices—and interest rates—are here to stay.

House Model on Top Of Bunch of Money

Photo via Getty Images/ Nora Carol Photography

Massachusetts: January 2023 by the Numbers

Median price, single-family homes: $520,000
Percent change from Jan. 2022: 0%
Median price, condos: $497,ooo
Percent change from Jan. 2o22: 10.4%
Number of single-family home sales, Jan. 2023: 3,005
Number of single-family home sales, Jan. 2022: 2,547
Number of condo sales, Jan. 2023: 1,396
Number of condo sales, Jan. 2022: 1,262

Source: Massachusetts Association of Realtors

More than a month into 2023, we’re beginning to see an outline of what these year’s real estate market might bring. So, what have we seen so far? Buyers are back.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

The number of home sales started to rise again last month, both increasing from December and last year. While condo prices have increased from 2022, single-family home prices remained, on average, unchanged. What does it all mean? After a year filled with historically high prices, followed by a decline thanks to waning buyer interest, buyers are back on the market and things…might actually be normalizing?

David McCarthy, 2023 Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) president and Keller Williams broker, says he and his colleagues have found that buyers scared off the fall market by rising mortgage rates are now gearing up to enter the market as it stands. “Inventory remains remarkably low and as a result of that, and the consumer realizing mortgage rates are staying where they are, they’re back out buying,” he adds. “We’re not seeing any price declines. That’ll bring more people back on the market.”

The state’s inventory shortage, on the other hand, continues to break records in its own right: MAR’s January data report shows that the month was another record-breaker for the lowest number of condos and single-family homes for sale since the association started tracking data in 2004, breaking the record previously set in December 2022. This made January another month of historic lows. While part of the problem is that Massachusetts doesn’t build enough housing, McCarthy says Covid-19 also prompted people to buy second homes outside Greater Boston, eating up some of the state’s already limited inventory. “These last few years, we stole sellers from the future,” he explains. “We moved so much product in a short period of time.”

So, what lies ahead? Certainly no one knows for sure, but based on typical real-estate patterns, this spring even more buyers will likely peek their heads out like animals emerging from hibernation. Springtime is usually busy for real estate and after an unusually slow fall, we’re looking to have things moving full steam ahead in the coming months. So if you’re gearing up to hit the market, be prepared to get aggressive. The competition is about to heat up. (Again.)