Realtor studying trends in home prices

You can’t talk about housing in Massachusetts and skip Lowell. The historic mill city has one of the most vibrant real estate markets in the state. Consequently, thousands of realtors transact in the market.

Hence, the industry in Lowell is relatively competitive. If you’re a real estate agent, you can stay ahead of the curve by knowing what’s in demand. At Ardor Homes Massachusetts, our agents leverage the hottest real estate trends. We’ll disclose some of these top trends in this post to help you.

Top 10 Trends in Lowell’s Housing Market

After analyzing available data, here are the current real estate trends in the Lowell property market:

  • Condos Are Selling Faster

Recent trends in the Lowell housing market show Condos sell faster than other property types. These residential units stay on listings for an average of 21 days before going off. In comparison, single-family homes take 24 days. For townhouses, the duration is 55 days.

The primary factor driving the quick purchase of condos in Lowell is lower home prices. Condos are listed for a median sale price of $300 thousand. That’s about $130 thousand off the median price of single-family homes, which sell for around $430 thousand.

However, it’s worth noting that the Lowell real estate market recorded a spike in the price of condos since 2022. In particular, during the previous years, condos sold for around $200 thousand. So, the price increase is over 33%.

Somehow, this increase didn’t affect the median days on the market. Condos remain the house trending in Lowell. As a matter of fact, they go off the market three days earlier compared to the previous year.

  • Buyers Are Less Interested in Townhouses

In the previously discussed trend, we stated that townhouses stay in the market for up to 55 days. That’s 34 days later than condos, but it still doesn’t give the complete picture. Data shows a serious spike in the median days on the market for townhouses over the past year.

It took townhouses just 18 days to sell in March 2022. Forward a year later, and the housing units added 37 days. Meanwhile, single-family homes added just three days, and condos appreciated.

The trend shows real estate buyers are losing interest in purchasing townhouses. It’s fascinating, considering townhouses aren’t the most expensive in the Lowell housing market. That title goes to single-family homes selling for $420 thousand on average. Townhouses sell for around $379.

Also, townhomes didn’t experience much price appreciation compared to condos. Nevertheless, the trend reflects all over the US real estate market — not just in Lowell. 

Townhouses record low home purchase transactions

  • The Number of Homes Sold Is Declining

New real estate trends suggest the housing market in Lowell is slowing down, recording fewer transactions. At the moment, the difference isn’t much. However, housing market patterns are usually easy to follow.

Year on year, data from Redfin shows the number of homes sold has declined by about 3%. Notably, single-family homes recorded the least decline percentage at 6.5%. Meanwhile, townhouses went down by 10%.

Ironically, condos, the fastest selling in the current housing market, recorded the most decline. Over 35% fewer condos were sold in March 2023 compared to 2022.

A positive correlation appears to exist between the number of homes sold and median home prices. Single-family homes, with the slightest price appreciation, witnessed the least depreciation regarding the number of homes sold. Likewise, condos experienced the most price addition and, consequently, the most drop in the number of purchases.

This isn’t a positive trend and could mean less work for you as a real estate agent. You’ll need to up your strategies to be ahead of the curve and increase sales. Discussing with other successful realtors in Lowell can help a great deal.

  • Homes Are Selling Above Asking Price

If you’re a real estate agent house hunting for a buying client, you may want to advise them to up their budget. Many properties in Lowell’s real estate market sell for higher prices than on their listings. In particular, analyzing trends from RocketHomes, more than 70% of homes in the city sell above their asking price.

Why do buyers offer to pay above the asking price? First, you should recognize the situation in Lowell as a seller’s market. Real estate selling above the asking price is expected in such a market, as buyers attempt to outbid each other.

Lowell is a seller’s market due to low housing inventory meeting many prospective home buyers. Demand is on the high side, not minding the rising interest rates. So, buyers who can afford it will offer the above listing price to gain an advantage.

  • Mortgage Rates Are Rising

Mortgage lenders in Lowell are charging clients higher interest rates than in the past few years. This trend applies to both adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgage loans. However, the hike is almost similar.

With the current trends in the real estate market, a 30-year fixed loan demands a 6.68% mortgage rate. For a 15-year option, home buyers would need to agree to a 6.05% rate. A 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage at 5.87% is more manageable.

Compared to Massachusetts state-level mortgage rates, those of Lowell are much higher. The why isn’t a mystery. Mortgage rates are rising since home supply is down while demand is soaring.

Nevertheless, home buyers in Lowell may be able to get lower mortgage interest rates. First-time homebuyers can leverage assistance programs. At least, it could help with the down payment. In addition, improving credit scores will go a long way.

Mortgage interest rates are on the rise

  • The Real Estate Market Stays Competitive

Competitive real estate markets usually mean more work for home-buying clients. Simply put, more people want to buy. Meanwhile, there’s a low number of home sellers. That’s precisely the condition of Lowell’s housing market. However, just how competitive is it?

Real estate trends using data from Redfin give the Massachusetts city an 88 score in terms of competitiveness. The score reflects the market conditions over the past few months, and it’s relatively high. We can interpret the score in many ways.

First, it means the majority of entries on home listings get multiple offers. As a matter of fact, some buyers even overlook incidental expenses just to close the deal. Also, the high competitive score confirms that home sales are usually higher than their listing prices. 

The average is around 2%. However, hot and trending real estate properties can sell for over 7% above their listing purchase price. In addition, they take less than two weeks to go pending.

  • Buyers Swap the City for the Metropolitan Area

Clients who intend to purchase homes in Lowell may not find a suitable offer due to the low housing inventory. In such situations, market trends for real estate in the big city show buyers opt for the Greater Lowell area. The metropolitan area, which comprises Lowell and its suburb, typically has a higher housing supply.

By turning their focus on Greater Lowell, clients can get homes in other towns and cities besides Lowell. Other towns and cities, including:

  • Billerica
  • Chelmsford
  • Dracut
  • Dunstable
  • Groton
  • Pepperell
  • Tewksbury
  • Tyngsborough
  • Westford

Therefore, if you’re a real estate agent in Lowell, you may want to expand your listing coverage to include homes in these other regions. Our advice at Ardor Homes Massachusetts is to focus on more affordable housing options compared to those in Lowell. That way, the advantage obtainable by clients is apparent.

  • Single-Family Homes Record Highest Price Drops

Pitching single-family homes against condos in Lowell, trends in real estate 2023 show the former has far more price dropped. The price dropped per month for single-family homes is 13 on average. Meanwhile, condos get an average of just three drops each month.

Furthermore, the price drop range is much wider for single-family homes. The range is 2 to 26 homes, but condos range from 0 to 4.  All these suggest that single-family buildings lose more home value.

However, it’s worth noting that the price drop percentage suggests single-family homes are appreciating. The number of price drops has reduced by about 80% in the past year, which is a positive trend. In contrast, condos only recorded around a 67% reduction.

Prices dropped higher for single-family homes

  • Most People Move From Hartford to Lowell

The emigration trend in Lowell shows that real estate in Connecticut interests residents the most. In particular, people in the MA city search for more homes in Hartford than elsewhere. It’s easy to say it’s because Hartford is CT’s capital, but there’s more to it.

Notably, Hartford has a far lower cost of living compared to Lowell. While the Connecticut capital’s cost of living is only 6% higher than the national average, Lowell’s is up to 24%. If you narrow it down to the real estate market, the odds favor Hartford more.

Hartford boasts lower prices in its housing market, down by 2% compared to the national average. On the other hand, housing prices in Lowell reach 26% higher. So, most Lowell residents search for real estate in Hartford due to the more manageable financial situation.

The rental market in both cities also has a significant contrast. On average, rental housing cost in Hartford is below $1,500. Meanwhile, that of Lowell is over $2,000.

  • Most People Move From Lowell to Portland

Most people searching for commercial real estate properties in Lowell from outside are in Portland. Portland’s cost of living is more manageable compared to Lowell. So why do immigration trends show many people prefer Lowell to Portland?

Well, Lowell is a much more populous city than Portland. Over 113 thousand people live in Lowell, while less than 70 thousand live in Portland. Therefore, the MA city offers more entertainment and diversity. Consequently, it has become a hot destination for young home buyers looking to leave Portland.

Nevertheless, real estate future trends suggest real estate buyers in Miami could overtake Portland.  Lowell could see more immigrants from the big city in Florida than in Maine. 

Conclusion

The real estate trends above give you a clear picture of what’s in demand in one of MA’s biggest cities. Here’s the rundown:

Some properties sell higher than others, rising mortgage rates and home inventory shortage persists, and some properties record significant price drops. Also, buyers search for real estate properties in and out of Lowell for different reasons.

You can get more trends and insights into the real estate market in Lowell from expert agents in the city. Contact us at Ardor Homes Massachusetts to connect with one. We have professional agents based in Lowell and other top cities in Massachusetts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lowell is relatively expensive to live in, as it has a high median house price. Also, the cost of living in the city is a lot higher than that of the national average. However, the city offers residents one of the best living conditions in the United States.

Lowell has many neighborhoods. So, the living experience varies from one region to another. Nevertheless, Lowell offers residents an urban-suburban feel. The city houses many bars, restaurants, and recreational parks, to name a few. Also, it’s a place of business and industry. It’s not a surprise that it’s known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution.

Yes, the real estate industry in Lowell can make a good investment. Recent trends show the cost of properties in Lowell has significantly increased over the past few years. Hence, purchasing now could mean you sell at a higher price in the future. Also, the home inventory is low, so houses will always be in high demand.

Housing prices are not dropping in Massachusetts at the moment. However, the median sales price increase has been relatively small in recent times. The current sales pace suggests prices won’t appreciate much in the coming months, and perhaps a decline could happen. This is true for particular cities like Lowell.

The most affordable place to live in Lowell is Belvidere. It’s the neighborhood with the lowest median home prices and rental costs. Other affordable areas in Lowell include Sacred Heart, Pawtucketville, and Highlands.

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