Boston’s 2020 Housing Market Trends & 2021 Forecast

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s decision-making across all areas of their lives–– and housing choices particularly have been no exception.

2020 began with uncertainty both economically and for our general safety and wellbeing, and thus many were hesitant to invest or make moves in the real estate market. Meanwhile, this uncertainty made people reevaluate what they really need, and spurred Millennials to build their nest eggs.

Our government responded quickly in order to facilitate more activity in the market, and interest rates dropped to new lows. In fact, we saw the lowest rates in 2020 since Freddie Mac began tracking mortgage rates in 1971. And in the first quarter of 2021, it’s suggested we’re still sitting pretty at an average commitment rate of 2.65% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

It’s no wonder we saw an influx of buyers with an incentive like that, especially once there was a pause in stay-at-home orders. And now as these orders are being lifted nationwide, the bidding wars continue.

As unemployment rates improve, it’s expected to see more people taking advantage of the opportunity to get into the housing market. Unemployment spiked slightly more in Boston than the national average and has come down at a slower pace. Nonetheless, people are getting their feet underneath them again, and the distribution of a vaccine will also lead to increased sales, as well as rising home prices and inventory.

During a year that has brought us inside more than ever, our homes have a higher value to us now. Although we aren’t spending like we once were and this is reflected in our economy, we’re making more intentional decisions to meet our changing needs.

Here’s a look at Boston’s 2021 real estate market overview now that 2020 is behind us––

  • Boston City Population: 694,583 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Median Household Income: $65,883 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Median Home Value: $653,632
  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +4.8%
  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): +9.6%
  • Average Days On Market (Single Family): 31
  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 9.10%
  • Median Rent Price: $2,950