On Monday, MAR issued its June 2008 and Q2 housing numbers and reported that both single-family home sales and condominium sales were down 14.9 percent and 20.3 percent respectively in June compared to the same time last year.
On a month-to-month basis, both single-family sales and condominium sales continue to go up. Listings (the number of homes for sale) and months of supply (the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory) are down compared to the same time last year.
In the second quarter of 2008, single-family home sales were down 13.7 percent and condominium sales were down 23.6 percent.
“While we were hoping to see the trend of narrowing sales declines we experienced in April and May, that just didn’t happen in June,” said MAR President, Susan M. Renfrew, broker/co-owner of Renfrew Real Estate in Greenfield. “However, median prices are at their highest level in several months, while the number of homes for sale and the months of supply are continuing to come down, meaning demand for those properties could start to increase.”
There were 4,225 detached single-family homes sold this June, a 14.9 percent decrease from the 4,963 homes sold the same time last year. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were up 21 percent from 3,491 homes sold this past May. This is the fourth straight month in which sales have gone up at least 20 percent from the month prior.
The median selling price for single-family homes in June was $334,900, a decrease of 8.0 percent compared to $364,000 in June 2007. The June median is the highest monthly median price since October 2007. On a month-to-month basis, the June median selling price was up 3.8 percent from May 2008 at $322,500.
The condominium market experienced a significant decrease in the number of units sold this June, with a 20.3 percent drop compared to the same time last year (from 2,355 units sold in 2007 to 1,876 units sold in 2008). Although a significant decrease, this is the smallest year-to-year change in 2008. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 14.4 percent compared to 1,640 units sold this past May.
Condominium median selling prices in June were down less than one percent from $296,000 in 2007 to $295,000 in 2008. Virtually unchanged from year ago, the June median is the highest monthly median since July 2007. Compared to this past May, the median selling price of a condominium is up 4.4 percent (from $282,500).
“There continues to be opportunities in this market, but we need to see how the issues surrounding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will play out,” said Renfrew. “We are encouraged that Congress and the President see the importance of restoring confidence in the credit markets.”
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of residential properties on the market as of June 30, 2008 decreased 6.7 percent compared to the same time last year (from 54,497 listings in 2007 to 50,705 listings in 2008). At the current sales pace, this represents approximately 8.3 months of supply, an increase from 7.4 months of supply in June 2007. This is the lowest months of supply since June of last year. This past February months of supply was at 16.6 months, the highest number in five years. On a month-to-month basis, the average months of supply is down from 9.8 months in May 2008. 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 5.3 percent from June 2007 (37,498 listings in 2007 to 35,516 listings in 2008) which translates into 8.4 months of supply in June 2008. This is up from 7.6 months of supply last year and down from 10.0 months of supply in May 2008.
The condominium market saw June inventory decrease by 10.7 percent from last year (16,999 listings in 2007 to 15,189 listings in 2008), which translates into 8.1 months of supply, up from 7.2 months in June 2007 and down from 9.5 months this past May.
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 129 days in June 2008 compared to an average of 126 days in June 2007, while condos stayed on the market an average of 140 days, up from an average of 124 days in June 2007. On a month-to-month basis, June was down from 143 days and condos were up from 135 days in May.
The number of single-family homes sold in the second quarter of 2008 was down 13.7 percent compared to the same time last year (12,184 homes sold in 2007 to 10,518 homes sold in 2008). Median selling prices were down 8.5 percent from $355,900 in 2007 to $325,000 in 2008.
The condominium market experienced an even greater drop in the number of units sold than the single-family market did in the second quarter compared to the same quarter last year with a 23.6 percent decrease (6,283 units sold in 2007 to 4,802 units sold in 2008). Median selling prices were largely unchanged from $287,500 in 2007 to $285,000 in 2008, a decrease of 0.9 percent.
Quarterly Regional Sales Data:
Regionally, every part of the state saw a decrease in sales compared to the same quarter last year, with Cape Cod only experiencing a drop of 0.6 percent (938 homes sold in 2007 compared to 932 homes sold in 2008). Of the seven regions, the Western region experienced the largest drop in sales at 20.5 percent with 1,675 homes sold in Q2 2007 compared to 1,331 homes sold in Q2 2008.
While the Western region experienced the largest drop in home sales, it also experienced the lowest drop in median prices at 4.1 percent from $219,000 in 2007 to $210,000 in 2008. It was the South Shore region of the state that had the largest drop in median prices at 11.4 percent from $350,000 in 2007 to $310,100 in 2008.
In the condo market, Cape Cod and the Islands had the smallest drop in sales, with a 15.1 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year with 218 units sold in 2007 to 185 units sold in 2008. The South Shore region also had the biggest decrease in condo sales at 33.7 percent, going from 724 units sold in 2007 to 480 units sold in 2008.
Cape Cod had a 1.7 percent increase in median prices (from $250,800 in 2007 to $255,000 in 2008), with the Greater Boston region staying even at $360,000. The Southeast region experienced the biggest drop in median prices, with a significant 24.6 percent drop compared to the same quarter last year (from $173.000 in 2007 to $130,450 in 2008).
“The regional data is a good example of how all real estate is truly local,” said Renfrew. “For example, Western Mass. had the biggest drop in sales in Q2, yet it had the smallest drop in median prices. That isn’t the case in the rest of the state and it underscores the value of working with a local REALTOR® who knows the local market.”