Pending home sales also up again in July
WALTHAM, Mass. – August 25, 2009 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that sales of single-family homes were up 12.7 percent compared to the same time last year. It was the first time since December 2008 that home sales have gone up year-over-year. Condominium sales were also up for the first time since August 2007. While median prices for single-family homes and condos were down, they were still at their highest point since August 2008. The number of pending sales (homes put under agreement in July) was up 4.0 percent from the same time last year – the second straight month of year-over-year gains.
Listen to our latest Housing Market Podcast as MAR President Gary Rogers discusses the July 2009 Housing Data
“Activity has been building for the past few months and we are finally seeing the real estate market respond in a positive way,” said MAR President Gary Rogers, a broker at RE/MAX First Realty in Waltham. “Buyers are taking advantage of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, low interest rates, and more affordable prices and getting into the market. While it is only one month, the number of homes put under agreement are also up, which means there is a good chance we could see additional months of increased sales ahead.”
There were 4,460 detached single-family homes sold this July, a 12.7 percent increase from the 3,957 homes sold the same time last year. This is the largest number of homes sold in any month since August 2007. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were up 7.5 percent from 2,448 homes sold this past June. This is the fifth straight month of month-to-month gains.
The median selling price for single-family homes in July was $310,000, a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to $326,500 in July 2008. Despite the decrease, this was the highest median price since August 2008. In addition, the July median price is up 23 percent from the 2009 low of $252,500 in February. On a month-to-month basis, the July median selling price was up 1.3 percent from $306,000 in June 2009. This is the fifth straight month of month-to-month increases. The July median selling price was back to more affordable 2003/2004 levels.
The condominium market experienced a slight increase of 0.9 percent in the number of units sold this July compared to the same time last year (from 1,803 units sold in 2008 to 1,820 units sold in 2009). This was the first monthly year-over-year gain since August 2007. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 12.1 percent compared to the 1,623 units sold this past June. This was the sixth straight month of month-to-month increases.
Condominium median selling prices in July were down 3.5 percent from $284,950 in 2008 to $275,000 in 2009. This was the highest median price since August 2008. The July median price was up 35 percent from the 2009 low of $204,000 in January. There was no change in the month-to-month median price from June.
The number of single-family homes put under agreement in July was up 4.0 percent compared to the same time last year (4,758 homes in 2008 to 4,966 homes in 2009). This was the second straight monthly year-over-year increase in pending sales. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement were down 3.6 percent from 5,153 homes in June.
The number of condos put under agreement in July was up 2.0 percent compared to July 2008 (1,975 units in 2008 to 2,025 units in 2009). This was the first monthly year-over-year increase in condos in 2009. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement were down 4.8 percent from 2,127 units in June. Pending sales or sales “under agreement” are homes that have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded.
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of residential properties on the market as of July 31, 2009 decreased 18 percent compared to the same time last year (from 49,145 listings in 2008 to 40,464 listings in 2009). At the current sales pace, this represents approximately 6.4 months of supply, down from 8.5 months of supply in July 2008. On a month-to-month basis, the average months of supply was down from 7.3 months in June. It is considered a balanced market when there are between 7.5 and 8.5 months of supply.
The inventory of single-family homes decreased 17.0 percent from July 2008 (34,726 listings in 2008 to 28,740 listings in 2009) which translates into 6.4 months of supply in July 2009. This was down from 8.8 months of supply last year and down from 7.2 months of supply in June. This was the fewest July single-family home listings since July 2002 and it is the 16th straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the year before.
The condominium market saw July inventory decrease by 19 percent from last year (14,419 listings in 2008 to 11,724 listings in 2009), which translates into 6.4 months of supply, down from 8.0 months in 2008 and down from 7.6 months this past June. This was the fewest May condominium listings since July 2003 and the 16th straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the year before.
“Hopefully the significant uptick in sales this July will help release some of the pent up seller-demand that REALTORS® are seeing across the state. The market can only continue to go in a positive direction if there are enough homes for the buyers to buy,” said Rogers.
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 129 days in July 2009, which was the same compared to the same time last year, while condos stayed on the market an average of 133 days, down from an average of 139 days in July 2008. On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes and condos were both down from 135 days in June.
About the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®:
Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade organization with more than 19,000 members. The term REALTOR® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of REALTORS® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.
Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.