Massachusetts Home Sales Up Again in August for 14th Straight Month

by MAR Staff | Sep 24, 2012

Over 5,000 homes sold for only 2nd time since June 2010

WALTHAM, Mass. – September 25, 2012 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that August marks the 14th straight month that single-family home sales have gone up compared to the same month the year before. Homes sold top 5,000-mark for only second time since June 2010 and the end of the homebuyer tax credit.  Condominium sales were also up from August 2011. Single-family median prices were essentially flat, while condominium median prices were up compared to last year.
“Closing activity picked up in August as buyers, who were able to take advantage of the favorable market, wanted to get into their homes prior to the start of the school year,” said 2012 MAR President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport.  “Prices continue to reflect a leveling out with single-family home prices essentially flat from the year before.”
There were 5,077 detached single-family homes sold this August, a 22.8 percent increase from the 4,136 homes sold the same time last year. This is the 14th straight month of year-over-year increases. This is also the second time in three months that closed sales went over 5,000 homes. The last two times prior to this happening were the final month of the home buyer tax credit in June 2010 and then in June 2007. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were UP 6.5 percent from 4,767 homes sold this past July.
The median selling price for single-family homes in August was $317,750 which was essentially flat from $317,500 in August 2011. On a month-to-month basis, the August median selling price was down 2.2 percent from $325,000 in July 2012. This is the second straight month-to-month decline.  
The August condominium market was up 25.2 percent compared to the same time last year (from 1,650 units sold in 2011 to 2,066 units sold in 2012). This is the 13th month of the last 14 that condominium sales have been up. This is the second of the last three months that the number of units sold topped 2,000 units. The last time this happened was June 2010, the final month to close on a home to take advantage of the tax credit. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 11.9 percent compared to the 1,846 units sold this past July.  
Condominium median selling prices in August were up less than one percent (0.7%) from the August 2011 median price (from $290,000 to $292,000). This is the sixth straight month that monthly median prices have been up. On a month-to-month basis, the median selling price of a condominium was down 2.7 percent from a July 2012 median of $300,000. This is the second straight month-to-month price decrease.
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of August 2012 decreased 22.00 percent from August 2011 (33,905 listings in 2011 to 26,459 listings in 2012) which translates into 7.2 months of supply in August 2012.  This is down from 11.0 months of supply last year and also down from 8.0 months in July 2012.  Inventory has gone down seven of the last 10 months. This was also the largest single month year-over-year decrease since 2007.
The inventory of condominiums on the market in August was down 30.1 percent compared to the year before (11,284 listings in 2011 to 7,882 listings in 2012), which translates into 5.6 months of supply, which is down from 9.4 months in August 2011 and down from 6.5 months in July.
“These drops in months of supply are typically a result of big uptick in closings in a single month,” said McCarthy. “However, escalating rent prices could certainly be fueling the increased condo-market activity.”
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 103 days in August 2012, which was down one day from 106 days in August 2011. Condos stayed on the market an average of 91 days, which was down from 103 days in August 2011.  On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were up from 98 days in July while condos were down from 93 days.
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.