Real Estate Trends – Easton, Massachusetts

Introduction:

Welcome back for our latest market trend report.  Once again we will explore one the local markets in one of the municipalities in which we work in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  If this is the first report you are reading our goal is to take a town or city in these areas and provide data and analysis on how the market has changed year over year in the most recent completed month, in this case October.

Today we are highlighting Easton, MA in Bristol County.

Easton is on the north east tip of the county and borders cities and towns located in both Norfolk and Plymouth Counties. Easton has been a popular town to live in for many local athletes.  Given the proximity to their facilities most of the more notable ones have been New England Patriots including Andre Tippett, Irving Fryer, Corey Dillon and Mike Vrabel among others.  Several others including several Boston Red Sox players have as well including former AL MVP Mo Vaughn. Easton MA Real Estate - Easton Children's Museum

I personally really like the Easton Children’s Museum as a fun family activity with my young daughters.  It is a nice alternative to Boston’s for those that are south of the city.  It has been a little while since we have been there but the girls loved it. Adorable Girls In Easton MA

Anyway without further ado let’s take a look at Easton’s real estate market.

Market Trends in Easton, MA – October 2013 and 2014:

Several factors for Easton, MA would indicate a slowing market.  Both listing and sales prices were down though the days on market were also down a little, however both years were on the higher side.  Total number of sales was down a little with 20 sales in October 2013 and 16 in 2014.

Average Listing Prices:

Looking at the average listing price in Easton, MA for October 2013 it was $450,805.  Then in October 2014 that was down to $448,363, for a decrease of 0.54%.  This is a meaningless decrease.  However this is the first analysis we have seen where an outlier in the listing (and below in the sales) price really skewed the data.  We have seen this many times with the days on market but not with the pricing before. When you hear about real estate market data the metric usually discussed in Median Sale Price where we have always used Average Sale Price.  Frankly this is only because the Massachusetts MLS data we use gives an average price but not the median so we’d have to calculate that ourselves.  While not particularly difficult, unless there are big outliers they are usually pretty close and the conclusions will be more or less the same.  That is not the case here though. In October 2014 there was one place that sold that had a listed price of $1,299,000 with the next highest being $784,900 (Which itself was more than $200K higher than the 3rd highest).  Besides being >65% more than the 2nd highest listing and being almost as much as the 2nd and 3rd combined if you look at the entire 13 month period between 10/1/13 and 10/31/14 it is the only million dollar listing and was the highest overall by well over $300K.  This shows that it isn’t just an outlier for that month but is in fact a truly unique listing for the town. If you remove this listing from the data the average list price drops down to $391,654 which would be a decrease of 15.10% which is now a huge drop from the previous year.  Since we also mentioned median price we will take a look at that to see how that compares to these adjusted numbers.  In October 2013 the Median Sale Price for Easton, MA was $449,900 (only $905 different than the average) and in October 2014, keeping all the data points, it was $344,950 which is actually much lower than even our adjusted number.  This actually is not too surprising as I mentioned that the 2nd highest listing was more than $200K more than the 3rd (Which itself was a fair bit higher than the rest) so using the more traditional median sales price we see a HUGE decrease of 30.42%. As a math nerd aside this really underscores the importance of looking at the raw data when doing an analysis rather than just looking at the end calculations that a computer spits out at you.  In this case we went from a basically flat market to seeing it in fact has plummeted by 15-30% depending on your preferred way to look at it.

Average Sale Prices:

Next we’ll look at the average sale prices.  In October 2013 the average sale price for Easton, MA was $451,507 and in October 2014 it was down to $436,313. This is a 3.37% decrease.  This is interesting in that while using this metric for listing prices the market was pretty much static while this is going down a reasonable amount. However we of course have that same property skewing the data that we had with the listing prices.  Without rehashing all the details again we will evaluate the sales prices the same way as we did the listing prices above.  Removing that one abnormal property (That had a sale price of $1,200,000) the average sale price was $385,401 and using that we see a 14.64% decrease which is close to the decrease in listing prices above. Using the Median Sale Price method in October 2013 the Median sale price was $447,500 and in October 2014 it was $351,500 for another very large decrease of 21.45%. So we saw pretty much the same pattern as above with a little change with the raw averages, a fairly big change when removing the outlier property and an even bigger one when using median prices (though not quite as big with sale prices as the listing prices).  All way of slicing it show that sales prices are clearly down in Easton, MA from last October.

Average Days on Market:

The other major factor that we look at when evaluating the market is the days on market, or how long it is taking for houses to sell.  In the case of Easton, MA the average days on market were down a bit from last year.  In October of 2013 the average days on market were 107.55 but in 2014 that was down to 90.81, for a 16.15% decrease.  So for home owners trying to sell this year that is the one positive they have is that things are selling a little faster, though 90+ days on market on average is still pretty high. Now as we have seen in several of our previous posts an outlier can skew this data pretty easily.  However this is not the case for Easton, MA as neither year has any that are dramatically higher than any of the other ones.

Easton, Mass Summary:

While needing to tease out the data a little in the end it is quite clear that prices are down significantly in Easton, MA year over year in October.  This clearly shows that the market has slowed down since last year.  Sellers can take a little bit of comfort that the very high days on market have at least come down a little bit. In summary if you are looking to sell a house in Easton, MA now you should expect to get a bit less than you would  have last year and should be willing to take a bigger discount off your listed price to avoid sitting on it for a very long time.

 

Do you need to sell your Easton, Massachusetts house fast?  If you would like to sell your home fast and hassle free schedule a consultation with us today.

Please share your questions and comments below.      

 

 

(Image credit: Easton Children’s Museum via its website)    

 

 

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