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Number of homes on market rising fast, even as prices slide

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 26, 2010 09:54 AM

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Right now there are two key trends to keep an eye on - inventory levels and month-over-month changes in home prices.

And right now the former is rising while the latter is falling, both here in the Bay State and across the country.

That means more homes coming on the market, putting further pressure on already falling home prices.

Probably the biggest new shift right now is the number of homes coming on the market.

Inventory levels - what's for sale but hasn't sold yet - rose for the second straight month in April, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports. That reverses 23 straight months of declines.

All told, there were more than 30,000 homes on the market as of April, a 6 percent jump over April 2009.

Getting a handle on prices is a bit more difficult, with the median price of a home in Massachusetts up more than 7 percent year-over-year from last April, to $275,000, MAR reports.

But a careful look at the Case-Shiller numbers, particularly month-over-month price trends, reveals a flat market in Greater Boston and falling values in 13 of 20 major metro markets, a pattern that has been in play since last fall. Overall, home prices fell .5 percent in March from February.

At the least, this is good news for prospective buyers in Greater Boston, who look like they might just get a few more homes to choose from over the summer while enjoying some post-tax-credit bargaining leverage with sellers.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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