Data for Lincoln, Concord, Weston, Wayland, and Lexington gives us a sense of the big trends over the past 5 years. Check it out below! You’ll see that 2018 saw strengthening market indicators for sellers (decreases in inventory, increases in average sale price per square foot, and decreases in average days on the market). That’s all bad news for buyers who’ve been waiting for the right home to buy in our MetroWest area. It is important to remember, though, that these are averages, looking across the whole market. As you can see in other posts here, there are huge differences in the impact of different markets within each town. For example, you can see in our 2018 breakdown for Lincoln that the market for over $2M in Lincoln did not experience the same 2018 as the under $1M. We’ll look first at Single Family (SF) homes and then analyze the condo market below.
2014-2018 Single Family Sales, Lincoln, Concord, Wayland, Weston, and Lexington, Massachusetts
You’ll see that in Lincoln, 2018 was a very strong year, with average sale price for single families jumping up to $1,324,844.67. Only 68 houses came on the market in total, and 61 sold. That shows the highest ratio of listed to sold houses. Consistent with this, only 6 houses were on the market at the start of 2019 and as of this writing no single family home in Lincoln is offered at less than $2M. The other major change in Lincoln is that the average days to offer was cut in half from 100 to 50 days, year-over-year. That indicates that there was a strengthening in demand.
In Concord, similarly there was a jump in the average price to $1,320,529, which, unlike Lincoln, was substantially higher than the past 5 years. The price per square foot also increased to its highest point, $386.50. 227 houses sold, which is more than in 2017, but as in 2017, over 300 houses were listed for sale. And, it took them longer to sell, with the days-to-offer trending up to 61. It is the only town where 2018 saw in increase in days-to-offer of those we analyzed here. Concord sellers typically experience greater competition and will need to understand what is happening in narrower price brackets to get a handle on the market.
Wayland continued its trend towards higher prices and quicker sales in 2018. Prices per square foot in Wayland ticked up to $321, and since fewer houses were listed for sale in 2018, we’d expect that trend to continue. Wayland has proved widespread appeal and with its manageable housing stock, opportunities abound for buyers who can move quickly.
Weston also saw a very strong 2018 with the average single family home ticking up in price to $1,922,358.69. While the price per square foot climbed to $402 and the days to offer came down to 87, Weston holds on to its slow moving/high priced market reputation. These trends are nevertheless indicating strengthening in the market for Weston sellers, especially vi-a-vis 2016-17.
2018 was also a tough year for buyers looking in Lexington, where the days to offer dipped to 26 after hanging in the 40s for the prior 4 years. Average sale price didn’t change much ($1,255,876.96). However, the price per square foot jumped to $422, making Lexington the most expensive single family real estate of these 5 towns.
2014-2018 Condominium Sales: Lincoln, Concord, Lexington, Wayland, Weston, and Lexington, Massachusetts
Lincoln condos sold much faster in 2018 than in prior years (days to offer down to an average of 12 from 52 in 2017). At $288 per square foot, Lincoln condos averaged the most affordable homes in 2018! *Two of those that sold quickly and over asking were our listings.* This indicates a strong market for condo sellers in 2019, . This data is made up of those condos that sold within the year, however, therefore doesn’t include one condo at Lincoln Ridge that has not sold after more than 200 days on the market. That’s one example of the importance of getting your condo updated before listing. Lincoln is likely so affordable on average because the condo complexes are all older, other towns have new and single-family-style units listed every year.
In Concord, condos took longer to sell in 2018 than in the four prior years, averaging 72 days. However, the prices ticked up to $656,617 on average. Concord has experienced steady increases in price per square foot in condos, in part because of the number of condos that offer that increasingly popular walk-to-village location, and in part due to new construction of condos and complexes that feel like single family homes.
Wayland also has a mix of newer and older condo complexes. While the average sales prices in 2018 peaked at $733,490, price per square foot hasn’t changed much over the last few years, hovering around $300. Wayland continues to be very desirable, but 2018 seemed unchanged from 2017.
In Weston, very few condos sell every year. In 2018 only 9 sold, averaging $435 per square feet. This is down from a peak in 2016 when condos in Weston averaged over $2M! That’s due in large part to the prestigious Highland Meadows complex which offers single-family comforts in a luxurious condo community.
Lexington condos averaged $427 per square foot in 2018, continuing its upward trend. That price per square foot has increased about 25% over the past five years! However, it has taken condos longer to sell in Lexington in 2018 (21 days) over 2017 (18) and 2016 (14).
Real Estate Market Forecast for these 5 MetroWest Communities
Looking ahead, Lincoln, Lexington, and Wayland showed the greatest gains in 2018 over prior years. We anticipate them to continue on that trajectory over the coming spring market and probably beyond. It has been our experience so far this spring that there is a huge pool of buyers, but they seem even less able to compromise on what they expect: Fresh, neutral, updated and easy. For example, three houses have come on so far this year in Lincoln under $1M, and they’ve all been mobbed with buyers but buyers have been hunting for value and happy to sit and wait. That runs counter to advice from mortgage lender Rick Renna.
In Concord, there has yet to be a flood of inventory for the Spring, but we’d expect buyers to similarly prefer in-town locations and updated, staged interiors. As in Weston, and in Carlisle (though we didn’t include Carlisle here) higher inventory will likely see more limited growth (if any) in price per square foot. If inventory continues to be limited in Weston and days to offer continues to decline, prices may creep upwards. If the market is flooded more quickly, we’d anticipate a return to longer offer periods and less price growth.
As always, the market for your particular home is unique and the only way to understand it in the context of these trends is to contact us (781)382-8686. We can slice the data accordingly. And, if you’re a buyer in this market, let’s talk because though these trends may seem overwhelming, there are some great values to be had.
Here’s to a strong 2019!