Housing: Moderate improvement in Boston market
The Boston-area housing market will continue to improve in 2013 with sales increasing and home values stabilizing – especially in higher priced neighborhoods.
As a sign of increasing confidence, more sellers will put properties on the market while developers build new condominiums, apartments, and single-family homes. But even with this additional supply, the overall inventory will remain low, holding back sales. Few expect a boom in prices, especially in areas that are farther away from Boston and its amenities.
Barry Bluestone, director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at the Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, said the condo market in and around Boston showed some strength this year as prices climbed. He said he expected condo prices to rise modestly in 2013. Demand for single family homes should also increase modestly next year, Bluestone said.
Home values in the Boston area have held up better than in other parts of the country, which were hit harder by the recent housing bust. Values here are down about 15 percent since the 2005 market peak, about half the decline of the country as a whole, according to the S&P/Case-Sheller Home Price Indices, widely used gauge of the housing market.
Karl E. Case, a creator of the national housing indices and a retired Wellesley College economics professor, said the housing market faces several challenges, including changing demographics. The trend is upward, he said, but “it’s not likely to be a rocket ship.’’ - Jenifer B. McKim