Low starter home inventory keeping Mass. home prices above $400K

BY Zachary Comeau

Photo | Edd Cote
Photo | Edd Cote
This six-bed, eight-bathroom home in Paxton is listed for sale at $1.4 million.

A shortage of starter homes is keeping the median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts above $400,000, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
The number of homes sold increased in August year over year, but the price also rose from $392,000 to $419,900. August marked the fourth straight months in which median home prices were above $400,000.
Still, Realtors and buyers say there is a lack of inventory for modestly-priced homes, the association said, as both market and price confidence indexes dropped by 4.4 and 10.3 percent, respectively.
“Realtor confidence in the market is still strong due to buyer demand, but soaring prices and lack of inventory continue to make buying a home difficult for some consumers,” said President Rita Coffey.
In a survey by the association, 48 percent of Realtors said the shortage of starter homes was the most common issue making it difficult for first-time homebuyers. 
“Despite a lot of conversation surrounding important topics like student loan debt and stable income for Millennials, it seems issues with the housing market are the biggest headache for first-time home buyers in Massachusetts,” said Coffey. “They can’t get a foot in the door without a solid inventory of affordable starter homes.”