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Condos are smaller than homes, but not their purchase agreements

Although readers might assume that condo prices would move in tandem with the local residential real estate market, a recent report from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors indicates otherwise.

Whereas the market for single-family homes in Massachusetts appears to be slowing, condo prices continue to rise. In April, median condo prices rose to $319,000, almost equaling the $320,000 median price for single-family homes in the same period. In addition, the annual appreciation rate for condos is also outpacing that for single-family homes. April’s rate was 11.7 percent, compared to a 2.3 percent appreciation rate for homes.

Although there are many conveniences provided by a condo, readers may question why that market is picking up at such a fast pace. According to one analysis, retiring baby boomers are a driving force behind the condo boom. Such individuals may be looking to downsize, and smaller single-family homes might not be as easy to come by as condos.

Yet although many condos are smaller than a home, the accompanying real estate agreements may be every bit as complex. A buyer needs to understand all of the terms and conditions that might affect his or her property in the future, including any liabilities stemming from that ownership.

A layer that focuses on real estate acquisition matters can help buyers feel more comfortable during the purchase or sale of property. An attorney can examine the purchase documents and give buyers peace of mind from knowing that a professional has identified potential obstacles, such as zoning or tax consequences. 

Source:, “Condos Losing Their Affordability,” Scott Van Voorhis, May 13, 2014

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