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Condos too rich now?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 11, 2014 07:37 AM

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Condos have long been a starter home alternative here in Massachusetts, the land of perpetually increasing home prices.

But condos are suddenly not looking at all that affordable now. The median price statewide hit $300,000 in January, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports this morning.

Just last January, the median price was a considerably lower $250,000, so we are talking about a 20 percent increase, according to real estate trade group monthly report on pending sales. (Basically, it's condos that have been put under agreement, but have to officially close and change hands.)

Sales were up as well, jumping nearly 10 percent to 1,421, the most condos to get new owners since way, way back in January 2007. You know, back when subprime mortgages were still hot, George W. was still president, and the housing bubble had yet to completely burst.
Of course, this is a statewide median, so we have to take into account all those multimillion-dollar condo sales in Boston, which are certainly helping gin up the numbers.

Still, that's hardly a reason to dismiss the report, either. Few new condos been built over the past few years in the Boston area, with banks having shut down financing of new projects after the recession. So scarcity is a factor in these price increases.

By contrast, pending home sales rose just 1.5 percent this January compared to first month of 2013, with the median price, at $320,000, essentially unchanged from December.

Condo buyers, what are you seeing out there? Are prices getting too rich for you?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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