Small Apartment Prices Leveling

by Zaxia Analyst | November 14, 2021

In Q3 of 2021 the Zaxia Survey of Greater Boston small apartments indicates a leveling off of prices compared to Q2. Year over year the trend is still up sharply, and sales volume is the highest of the survey.

In Greater Boston the survey shows sale price increased 35% since Q3 2020 while sales volume increased 55%. Quarter to quarter sales prices declined about 1% while sales volume increased by 21%. (See chart in Market Trends.)

The rate exceeds the median single-family rate increase for Greater Boston (10% from September of 2020 to September of 2021). During the same period residential condominium unit prices increased by 4.6%.  However, it is still consistent with strong single-family, and condominium increases in Greater Boston’s low-income communities and is consistent with increases in many markets that had previously lagged nationwide.

As in Q2, both nationally and in Greater Boston, experts attribute the single-family trend to pent-up demand and a lack of inventory of properties for sale, as suburban homeowners sit pat in their existing homes and buyers can find fewer available houses for sale.

The cause is likely different for small apartments.  The number of sales of three-families tracked by Zaxia is significantly more in Q3 of 2021 than it was in Q3 of 2020.  The supply of small apartments for sale has increased while the number of buyers has increased to a greater degree. That likely is the root cause for the recent leveling off of sale prices.

Brockton, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Lowell, and Worcester showed the most leveling off.  Lawrence, Lynn, and New Bedford continue the trend of strong appreciation.