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Are Greater Boston buyers savvier?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 17, 2013 07:42 AM

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I think so, but I'm biased. After all, this blog is devoted to the concerns and interests of Boston area buyers and sellers.

Still, there's an intriguing little stat that's worth looking at.

There is a shortage of homes for sale nationally right now, and that's driving all sorts of extreme market behavior, including the growing tendency to buy first and ask questions later.

It's no mystery why this is happening. The number homes for sale is down by nearly a third across the country, with nearly 35 percent of all homes selling within the first two weeks, Refin says

But not here in Greater Boston, where buyers still appear to be inclined to do a fair amount of tire kicking before they sign on the dotted line.

Only 3.3 percent of all Boston area homes are selling in the first two weeks. That makes us the "slowest selling market" in the country, according to Refin.

That's even more impressive given that the inventory crunch is much more severe in the Hub and its sprawling suburban environs than it is nationally, with the number of homes for sale dropping more than half - that's right, 50.4 percent - in March, according to Redfin.

By contrast, in the handful of other big cities that have seen comparably steep drops in inventory, buyers are reacting quite differently.

In San Francisco, which also had a precipitous, 55.6 percent drop in listings in March, a whopping 60 percent of all homes sold in two weeks or less. Roughly the same pattern can be found in Los Angeles, San Jose and Ventura, where big drops in inventory saw homes fly off the market practically as fast as they came on.

It would be nice to think we are just smarter here - that Boston area buyers are more apt to do their homework and look long and hard. I guess I am in a generous mood today.

So what's your take?

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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