2017 Real Estate Market Good for Winthrop

Friday, March 2, 2018
By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The Winthrop real estate market in 2017 was definitely a good one with higher prices being recorded than in 2016, but a drop in the number of new listings, making home buying an adventure.

“2017 was a great year in Winthrop with sales up 13 percent,” said Jim Polino of Highland Real Estate. “Inventories are low but the number of buyers is high. It’s all part of a good economy.

According to figures from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, the median sales price was $475,000 in 2017, a 14.5 increase over prices in 2016.

Homes also were also on the market for only 36 days, a 29.4 percent decrease over the 51 days on the market in 2016.

The number of listings in 2017 also dropped to 126, a 27.3 percent decrease from 297 in 2016. The good news for sellers is that the original listing price was matched just over 98.8 percent of the time.

The condominium market saw similar trends with the median sales price at $330.000, up 11.9 percent over 2016. Days on the market increased from 119 days in 2016 to 128 days on the market in  2017.

“It’s a strong sellers market with multiple bids.” Polino said. “In 2018, we’ll see the interest rates rise to the low 4 percents.If your house is priced properly, you’ll see multiple offers.”

“Last year although it seems as if each year we have less and less inventory but we actually have had more inventory (234 units) in 2017 with about 27 more units to sell then we did in 2016. I went back over 15 years, and this is the most residential sales we have had in over a decade, if not longer,” said Elizabeth Ferrara of Cottage Hill Real Estate in Winthrop.

She has also noticed more buyers coming from the city.

“On average I would say 75 percent of my buyers from 2017 were from out of town with many buyers coming from Charlestown and South Boston.” Ferrara said. “These buyers find Winthrop a bargain, and they know how to bid. These buyers were part of the rise of Charlestown and South Boston, and are not afraid to go over the asking price and drop contingencies.”

Looking ahead, Ferrara said 2018 is off to a good start with average inventory but significantly higher prices.

“Last years median price in Winthrop was $484,000 in February 2017 compared to $545,000 in February 2018.  Inventory will grow as we come into the spring market and even the playing field a little for buyers and sellers. Sellers will continue to have the strong upper hand, especially if they decide to hit the market before all the spring competition and the expected rate increases.”

“2017 was a fantastic year to be in real estate,” said Joe Mario of Century 21 Mario/Seacoast Real Estate. “There’s a lot of confidence and equity in homes. For 35 years now, it’s been positive. Now is the time to sell.”

LeighAnn Eruzione, of Robert Paul Properties said Winthrop continues to be a desirable place location for individuals looking beyond the Boston city limits. Large, single-family homes and tree-lined suburban streets make it the perfect buy for urban professionals trying to escape the bustle of the city, without losing proximity to their jobs and social circles. While prices have risen 15 percent in just one year, Winthrop still offers tremendous value when compared to other suburban communities.

“In stark contrast to the rest of Greater Boston, overall Winthrop home sales have actually risen when compared to the previous year. Activity suggested that there were far more buyers than there were listings, even at this new total sales high,” Eruzione said.

Eruzione noted that East Boston is the real story behind Winthop’s increasing sale prices and reduction in days on market.

“As all recordable metrics in Eastie shift dramatically, Winthrop rides the way behind it: just far enough away to be affordable, but just close enough to be considered by urban buyers,” Eruzione said. “As more condo options become available in Winthrop, we should see more single family residences come on the market, but not enough to satiate buyer demand.”

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