Real Estate Trends – Watertown, Massachusetts


Welcome back again for our latest real estate market trend report.  For those of you that are here for the first time what we do in these reports is examine the real estate market in a city or town in Massachusetts or New Hampshire to evaluate the current conditions.  We do this by looking at the changes in three key metrics year over year for the municipality to see how the market has changed and then evaluate what those observations might mean for that market moving forward.

Today we are highlighting the market in Watertown, MA in Middlesex County

 Main Street in Watertown MA - Watertown Massachusetts Real Estate

This is the first time we have looked at single families in Watertown, MA.  This is our 2nd look at the town though as we did a report on the Watertown Condo market back in February.

Market Trends in Watertown, MA – April 2015 and 2016:

The Watertown, MA market has fallen off significantly since last year.   The average prices are down and the median prices were down quite a bit more.  The days on market were down a lot however.  Inventory was up a little flat with 6 sales in April of 2015 and in April 2016. 

Average Listing Prices:

We will first start off by looking at the average listing price.  In Watertown, MA the average listing price in April 2015 was $804,483.  This was down to $614,467 in April 2016.  This gives a massive decrease of 23.62% year over year. 

Looking at the median prices we see that they were lower in both years.  For April of 2015 the median listing price for Watertown, MA was $794,000 and in April 2016 it was $489,450 which now gives an even larger decrease of 38.36%. 

Average Sale Prices:

The next thing we will be looking at is the average sale prices.  The average sale price for in Watertown, MA in April of 2015 was $801,667 and in April 2016 that was down to $641,833.  That gives another huge decrease of 19.94%, but slightly smaller than the average list price. 

We see the same pattern than we did for the median list price.  For April of 2015 the median sales price for Watertown, MA was $794,500 and in April 2016 it was $520,000 giving another very large decrease of 34.55%. 

Prices are down substantially for Watertown, MA in April.  The averages and the medians give a different level of change though.  While all the metrics indicate a big drop in prices since the overall range is 20-38.5% the medians were down much more.  Even in the best case of using the averages and favoring the sales prices are down 20%.  However medians are the more preferred method in these types of analyses and this is a perfect example of why that is the case.  In 2016 there was a sale of $1.3 million and then the 2nd highest was $531K, which is over $110K LESS than the average for all 6 sales, so it is pretty obvious that the drop seen via the averages would greatly understate what was actually happening.  Therefore we would discount the smaller price drops seen with the averages and say that the 34.5-38.5% drops represented with the medians is much more accurate.  Since the median sales price drop was the bottom of the range best estimate is a drop of 34-35% year over year.

Average Days on Market:

Finally the last metric we look at are the average days on market, which is the measure of how long it takes for a property to sell in the current market.  For Watertown, MA the average days on market in April of 2015 were 110.33 and the average days on market for April 2016 were 13.50 for a huge 87.76% decrease.

Watertown, Massachusetts Summary:

The Watertown, Massachusetts real estate market is down a tremendous amount since last year.  The average prices were down a lot while the median prices were down a lot more.  The days on market were down a huge amount though.  The size of the drop is pretty stunning and is a big enough improvement to influence a conclusion about how the market is doing.  However, while it could change the conclusion if the price drops were small, with price drops being around 35% this is just so huge that a faster sale and some reduced holding costs is not a big enough positive to not conclude the market is down a huge amount.

In summary if you are looking to sell a house in Watertown, MA now you should expect to get less for it than you would have gotten last year.  However you can also expect it to take a lot less time to sell compared to last year as well. 


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

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(Image credit: Main Street in Watertown MA by IFCAR via Wikipedia)


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