NATICK, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England 2017 Market Outlook Report predicts continued housing market strength in early 2017 across the New England states driven by low interest rates, demand from first-time buyers and a sustained preference for affordable homes close to cities.
“Affordability will remain the key factor in driving sales, as inventory is low across the board in price points at or below $300K.”
First-time buyers and millennials represent a dominating force across New England, as they are rapidly purchasing single-family homes and condos in proximity to cities. Boston, MA, Providence, RI, Portland, ME, Burlington, VT, Hartford, CT and Portsmouth, NH are predicted to see increases in average residential sales price in 2017, illustrating the buyer power of this demographic. Motivated by affordable properties and job opportunities, millennial buyers prefer move-in ready homes and condos in urban areas that offer quality dining and shopping destinations. This has made it challenging for older, larger homes located in peripheral neighborhoods to sell quickly.
“The New England housing market shows promise of continued growth early in 2017, given the combination of low interest rates and ongoing demand among first-time buyers, especially in cities and surrounding areas,” said Dan Breault, Executive Vice President and Regional Director at RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England. “Affordability will remain the key factor in driving sales, as inventory is low across the board in price points at or below $300K.”
Consumer confidence among move-up buyers is expected to grow in some major markets across New England, like Boston, MA, Burlington, VT, and Hartford, CT, where the market may start to balance towards the end of 2017. While brokers in these areas foresee increases in average residential sales prices in 2017, they also predict the average days on market to remain steady and inventory levels to increase slightly.
- Massachusetts: Massachusetts will continue to thrive as a seller’s market with record-low inventory entering 2017. Boston, which has seen a 12 percent increase in average residential sales price, may start to see the first signs of balancing after many years as a strong seller’s market, as brokers predict the average days on market will remain steady. Foreign investment is also a factor driving demand in the city, with upscale developments attracting international attention. Inventory priced at $300K and below is in high demand across the state, which is expected to continue. Furthermore, millennials and first-time buyers continue to dominate the market, highly interested in areas that are within commuting distance to the city. For example, North Shore towns such as Beverly are experiencing an 11 percent decrease in average days on market year-over-year, and a six percent increase in number of units sold.
- Rhode Island: Rhode Island will continue to see a housing market recovery in certain areas such as Providence, where brokers predict the average residential sales price will increase slightly in the coming year. Affordability remains the most important factor, especially in areas like East Greenwich, where homes under $300K continue to sell quickly and number of units sold is up seven percent year-over-year. Across the state, single-family homes continue to dominate sales in the housing market. There is also heightened interest in condos from first-time buyers, which are desirable in Providence neighborhoods. Other areas such as Narragansett are reporting a 14 percent increase in number of units sold and a 10 percent increase in average residential sales price year-over-year, signifying strong growth along the southern coast of Rhode Island.
- Connecticut: Connecticut will continue to experience strong demand from first-time buyers in 2017, especially in highly populated areas like Hartford, which reports an 18 percent increase in average residential price year-over-year. Demand for affordable, move-in ready homes close to cities will continue to drive the market in this area. Single-family homes dominate the housing market across the state, as low interest rates, quality education and job opportunities attract buyers. By the end of the year, the Hartford market is expected to show the first signs of balancing; average days on market is projected to remain steady, and average residential sales price is anticipated to increase slightly. Other areas, such as New Haven, are reporting a three percent increase in number of units sold year-over-year and a general trend of decreasing average days on market over the last four years, which is expected to continue.
- Maine: Across the state, properties in the $250-300K price range are driving the majority of sales. In Portland, a fast-paced market comprised of low inventory and high demand will continue to thrive in the coming year, as a slight increase in average residential sales price is predicted. A variety of buyers are represented in Maine, including first-time, move-up, second-time and luxury. Rockport homes priced below $500K have seen a surge in sales over the last year, which will continue in the coming year. Here, inventory remains scarce, but prices are expected to balance in the year ahead. Other areas such as Augusta have experienced a general trend of decreasing average days on market over the last four years and a gradual increase in average residential sales price, promising continued growth in 2017. Foreign investments and future condo developments will play a key role along the coast in the coming year.
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire’s real estate market will strengthen heading into 2017. Low inventory and low interest rates have kept it a seller’s market in cities like Portsmouth and Nashua, where the average residential sales price is up year-over-year. Millennials and first-time buyers are drawn to the affordable prices and urban commutability that the southern region of the state offers. Portsmouth has experienced an 11 percent increase in average residential sales price over the last year. In other areas, such as Concord, average days on market has decreased 10 percent and average residential sales price has increased by four percent year-over-year.
- Vermont: Comprised of a mix of second-time and move-up buyers attracted to quality education systems, 2017 Vermont housing activity will remain similar to that of 2016. Whereas Burlington is a seller’s market, due to its more urban nature and access to job opportunities, rural areas like Manchester will remain a buyer’s market. Affordability is a key factor driving sales across the state, as inventory is low in prices at or below $300K. Burlington is predicted to experience an increase in average residential sales price in 2017, but its average days on market will likely remain steady. In other areas, such as Middlebury, average days on market has gradually decreased over the last three years and average residential sales prices have remained steady in the mid-$200K range, illustrating the balance of the market in this region.
About RE/MAX INTEGRA and RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England:
Since its inception in 1985, RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England has grown to over 200 offices and nearly 2,700 Sales Associates throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, providing franchised and commercial real estate services to its franchisees and their real estate professionals.
RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England’s parent company, RE/MAX INTEGRA, is a privately-held company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. RE/MAX INTEGRA is the largest sub-franchisor of RE/MAX, LLC worldwide, and represents over 30,000 agents -- approximately a third of all RE/MAX Associates worldwide.
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