Very big Armenian population.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Pending single-family home sales, a barometer of the region’s housing market, fell for the fifth straight month in September as potential homebuyers stayed away in droves, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
The number of single-family homes put under agreement in September was 3,609, down from 4,473 for the same time last year, a 19 percent decline, the group reported today.
Condos under agreement in September slipped to 1,267, down 27 percent a year ago when pending sales were 1,725 units.
“Concerns over the economy and unemployment continued to keep a number of potential homebuyers on the sidelines as homes put under agreement went down compared to the same time last year when buyers were trying to qualify for the initial homebuyer tax credit deadline,” said MAR President Kevin Sears, in a statement.
“While the market still favors the buyer and interest rates remain historically low, confidence in the market plays a significant factor even for the most qualified buyers when it comes to purchasing a home.”
The tracking of signed purchase and sale agreements, also called “pending sales,” provides reliable information about where the real estate market is heading in coming months, said MAR.
A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close.
October 5, 2010 08:13 AM
A metric that seeks to project a forward-looking snapshot of the local housing market showed few signs of relief for a slump partly kicked off by the recent expiration of a temporary federal tax credit for home buyers.
In September, pending sales for Bay State single-family homes fell 19 percent in September when compared with September 2009, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said today; pending sales for condos were down 27 percent on a year-to-year basis.
The association's pending sales analysis counts homes that have been put under agreement but are not yet completed sales. Often six weeks can elapse between the time a home is put under agreement and the time that the sale closes. In general, economists look at closed home sales when they seek to evaluate the condition of the market, but those data points can be several weeks old. According to the association, pending sales can give more of a real-time indication of where the market might be heading.
“Concerns over the economy and unemployment continued to keep a number of potential home buyers on the sidelines as homes put under agreement went down compared to the same time last year when buyers were trying to qualify for the initial home buyer tax credit deadline,” association president Kevin Sears said in a statement. “While the market still favors the buyer and interest rates remain historically low, confidence in the market plays a significant factor even for the most qualified buyers when it comes to purchasing a home.”
In September, 3,609 single-family homes were put under agreement compared with 4,473 homes in the same month a year ago, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said. September 2010 was the fifth straight month that year-over-year pending sales have gone down.
As for condos, 1,267 units were put under agreement last month, compared 1,725 units in 2009.
The pending sales results for September were roughly trending in line with the volume declines that were reported for closed home sales in August. To read a Globe story on closed August home sales, please click here.
That story noted: "The decline in sales was expected, given the surge in previous months as buyers rushed to take advantage of an expiring federal tax credit of up to $8,000. With the distortions caused by the tax credit, analysts said, it is unclear where the local housing market is heading."
Sales of Massachusetts single-family homes in August fell to their lowest level in more than two decades as the housing market continued to feel the effects of the expiration of a federal home buyers tax credit, the Warren Group said today.
On a volume basis, 3,659 single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts in August, an 18.5 percent drop from August 2009, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity. August 2010 was the second consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines.
"This is the first time sales have fallen below 4,000 in the month of August since the Warren Group began tracking data in 1987," the firm added.
Sales of single-family homes edged up from a month ago, when there were 3,590 sales of single-family homes.
"Sales volume in the real estate market remains slow as an after-effect of the expiration of the popular tax credit for home buyers," Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. "Anxiety and uncertainty in the minds of consumers regarding rising foreclosures, the economy, jobs, and financial markets all played a role in keeping potential home buyers on the sidelines this summer. I'm afraid that the slumping real estate market led the country into the recession and the market's continuing malaise is holding back any kind of strong economic recovery."
The median price of single-family Massachusetts homes rose 3.9 percent to $315,000 in August, up from $303,000 a year earlier and dropped from a month ago when the median price was $320,000, the Warren Group said.
As for August condominium sales in Massachusetts, they fell 23.3 percent from a year earlier, with 1,620 condos selling in August. Condo sales increased slightly from a month earlier. The median selling price for a Massachusetts condo was $298,500 in August 2010, up 8.5 percent from a year ago, the Warren Group said.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors also issued a report today on the local housing market. The association uses a different method to track sales than the Warren Group does.
Association president Kevin Sears commented on the August sales figures in a statement.
“With median prices continuing to climb year over year and sales slightly increasing from July to August, the market is slowly starting to move in a more positive direction,” Sears said. “While questions about the economy and unemployment remain, the record low interest rates continue to benefit those consumers who are in the market to buy a home now. We can’t forget about the long-term value of home ownership, and the importance for buyers to follow a timeline that is right for them, regardless of the market.”
On sales volumes for single-family homes sold in Massachusetts in August, the association reported an 18.4 percent decrease from the same time last year.
"The median selling price for single-family homes in August was $330,000 an increase of 4.8 percent compared to $315,000 in August 2009," the association said. "This is the 10th straight month of year-over-year price increases."