Home Sales and Median Prices Up Again in November

by MAR Staff | Dec 26, 2012

Keeping mortgage interest deduction unchanged a key to helping recovery stay on track


WALTHAM, Mass. – December 27, 2012 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that median sales prices for single-family homes were up for the second straight month in November. The number of homes and condominiums sold were also up again compared to the same time last year. 
 
 

 
November 2012 Housing Numbers Podcast with
MAR President Trisha McCarthy
 
“The combination of buyer activity and decreasing inventory has pushed median sales prices up in November,” said 2012 MAR President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport. “If the number of homes put under agreement in November is any indication of what the future holds; it looks like sales and prices will continue to increase into 2013.”
 
There were 4,061 detached single-family homes sold this November, a 29.2 percent increase from the 3,143 homes sold the same time last year. This is the 17th straight month of year-over-year increases. This is also the first November where home sales topped the 4,000-mark since November 2004 when there were 4,029 homes sold. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were up 7.9 percent from 3,764 homes sold this past October.
 
The median selling price for single-family home in November was $295,000 which was UP 3.5 percent from $285,000 in November 2011. This is the second straight monthly year-over-year increase. On a month-to-month basis, the November median selling price was also up 3.5 percent from $285,000 in October 2012. This is the first month-to-month increase in four months.  
  
There were 1,500 condominiums sold this November, a 35.9 percent increase from the 1,112 condos sold the same time last year. This is the 11th straight month of year-over-year increases. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 2.6 percent from 1,462 homes sold this past October.
 
The median selling price for condominium in November was $290,000 which was UP 12.6 percent from $257,500 in November 2011. This is the ninth straight monthly year-over-year increase. On a month-to-month basis, the November median selling price was up 9.4 percent from $265,000 in October 2012.
 
Keeping the Mortgage Interest Deduction Unchanged:
The real estate market in Massachusetts and the United States is on its way to recovery, but the recovery is not complete. Making any changes to the mortgage interest deduction now or in the future could place the housing market and the broader economy under stress.
 
“Massachusetts is a high cost state and because of the cost of housing here, many homeowners count on the mortgage interest deduction to help them afford their homes,” said McCarthy. “REALTORS® here in the Bay State and across the country are urging Congress to ‘Do No Harm’ to housing by leaving the mortgage interest deduction unchanged. We believe any changes to this deduction could impact the economy’s recovery.”
 
The mortgage interest deduction is a very effective tool that facilitates homeownership. While only about 30% - 35% of all taxpayers in any given year itemize their deductions, more than three quarters of homeowners use the deduction over the period they own their home. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would cause a 15% decline in the value of homes across the nation and impair the fragile housing recovery. In high cost areas, like Massachusetts, that impact would be greater. 
 
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of November 2012 decreased 25.9 percent from November 2011 (29,330 listings in 2011 to 21,729 listings in 2012) which translates into 5.7 months of supply in November 2012.  This is down from 9.2 months of supply last year and also down from 6.9 months in October 2012.  Inventory has gone down 11 of the last 13 months. Similar to last month, November was the largest single month year-over-year decrease since MAR has been tracking this data.
 
The inventory of condominiums on the market in November was down 34.4 percent compared to the year before (9,975 listings in 2011 to 6,545 listings in 2012), which translates into 4.4 months of supply, which is down from 8.1 months in November 2011 and down from 5.3 months in October.
 
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 106 days in November 2012, which was down from 117 days in November 2011. Condos stayed on the market an average of 99 days, which was down from 118 days in November 2011.  On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were up from 102 days in October while condos were down from 102 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.