As they say, hope springs eternal.
Heading into the spring real-estate season, many realtors predicted, or hoped, that the low inventory problems facing the market might ease a bit. The thinking went like this: Surely, potential sellers were seeing how they could fetch really great prices if they put their homes up for sale. So we’d probably see a stronger sales season this spring.
Well, it didn’t happen. The latest April data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors shows inventory continuing to fall last month, amid high demand for homes and, consequently, escalating prices.
There’s indeed been “pockets of improvement” on the inventory front, but certainly not an overall improvement, that’s for sure.
From MAR’s press release this morning:
There were 3,221 detached single-family homes sold this April, which was down 7.2 percent from the 3,472 homes sold the same time last year. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were up 17.3 percent from 2,746 homes sold this past March.
The median selling price for single-family home in April was $320,000 which was up 2.3 percent from $312,750 in April 2013. …
There were 1,496 condominiums sold this past April, a decrease of 2.7 percent from the 1,537 condos sold the same time last year. …
The median selling price for condominiums in April was $318,900 which was up 11.7 percent from the $285,500 median price in April 2013.
The inventory of single-family homes as of April 30, 2014 decreased 12 percent from April 2013 (19,240 listings in 2014 from 21,858 listings in 2013) which translates into 4.6 months of supply in April 2014. This is down from 5.5 months of supply last year and up from 4.3 months in March. While this was the 26th straight month of inventory decreases, this was the smallest gap in the downward trend since June 2012.
The inventory of condominiums on the market in April was down 23.7 percent compared to the year before (5,156 listings in 2014 from 6,757 listings in 2013) …
Emphasis added above to show that, yes, there is a sign of improvement. Still, well, you get the picture.
Fyi: The S&P Case-Shiller Price Index came out yesterday. Its basic conclusion: Home price increases across the nation are starting to slow a bit. That’s good news for those trying to buy homes. Scroll down and you’ll see that the Boston area’s single-family prices increased by 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to a year ago.
UPDATE: The Warren Group has also released its numbers, showing a decline in sales last month (verifying MAR’s data) and yet a declining rate of price increases (confirming the S&P Case-Shiller data).