Local home sales soar in Nov., reports say
Sales of Massachusetts single-family homes and condos rose by more than 50 percent in November when compared to the same month a year ago, and prices also showed some improvement, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity.
A year-ago, the country was in the midst of a financial crisis that hurt home sales. As a result, November 2009 benefitted from some easy comparisons to November 2008, said the Warren Group, which added that a home buyer tax credit also helped last month's sales.
"Single-family home sales soared 59.1 percent to 4,136 from 2,599 in November 2008, posting the highest number of sales for the month of November since 2005," the Warren Group said. "November's sales gain was also the biggest jump in year-over-year sales so far in 2009."
As for prices, the Warren Group said, "The median price for single-family homes sold in November slipped 1.3 percent to $274,000 from $277,500." That was a more moderate drop than the declines that the Warren Group was reporting for many of the months earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts condo sales rose 54 percent to 1,840 from 1,195 in November 2008, the Warren Group said. It was the biggest gain in monthly condo sales year-over-year so far in 2009. And for the first time in 16 months, the median selling price for condos rose. The median price for condos sold in November was up 1.7 percent to $244,000 from $240,000 during the same month last year.
The Warren Group's monthly report also included a quote from firm chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr.
"The gain in home sales during the month of November isn't completely unexpected," Timothy Warren said. "There was a lot of financial turmoil last fall that led to a plunge in home sales in November 2008 and subsequent months, so we expected homes sales to climb a bit. However, the jump was even sharper that we thought it would be. We suspect that many buyers felt pressure to take advantage of the home-buyer tax credit before it was due to expire."
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors also issued its monthly report on the local housing market today. The association uses a different method to track real estate activity. Still, its results were roughly similar to those of the Warren Group's.
One slight difference: The association reported that the median sales price for a single-family home rose slightly last month. "The median selling price for single-family homes in November was $285,000, an increase of 0.7 percent compared to $283,000 in November 2008," the association said.
Commenting on sales volume, the association reported that "single-family home sales were up a record 63.1 percent compared to November 2008, as buyers expected the first-time home-buyer tax credit to expire at the end of the month (instead it was extended to April 2010)."