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No relief for home buyers

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 22, 2013 08:41 AM

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All real estate is local, as the late great Tip O'Neill might have said were he a broker.

So it's been rather interesting to see some of the big online real estate portals, such as Zillow and Redfin, aggressively push the idea that Massachusetts home prices are set for a cool down in keeping with national trends.

One bigwig who will go unnamed even offered me a lecture of sorts, saying I "must know" that this is happening. I smiled and let the comment pass.

But that's not what the numbers are showing, with the median price of a home in Massachusetts having jumped nearly 16 percent in September, to $323,625, The Warren Group reports.

Home sales posted their best start to the fall season since 2005, with the number of homes changing hands rising 16 percent as well in September compared to September 2012.

Condo prices weighed in at $310,000 for the third quarter ending in September, while condo sales rose 12.5 percent during the month, The Warren Group reports.

So why are prices still heading up here in the Bay State and across Greater Boston, even as they falter nationally and in many other major metro markets?

Well it all goes back to the uneven economic recovery we are seeing right now, with a few hot cities and regions booming while the rest of the country stumbles along.

Massachusetts, driven by Greater Boston, is one of those lucky few seeing relatively strong growth, thanks to booming tech and life science sectors and a large health care sector.

That's spurring home sales and rising prices. And it's all happening despite anxiety over the inevitable end of the interest rate gravy train, as well as the train wreck in Washington.

What's your take? Can Boston area home prices just keep posting double-digit increases, or is there a tumble just around the next corner that I am missing?

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

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

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