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Mass. home and condo sales way up in July

At last, a very impressive gain in pending home sales in Massachusetts, increasing by 17 percent last month for single-family homes and by nearly 10 percent for condos.

This is great news.

No MAR stats on new listings and inventory etc. But an increase in sales bodes well for the market.

From MAR’s press release:

WALTHAM, Mass. – August 12, 2014 – Pending home sales across the state climbed to their highest level for July since Massachusetts REALTORS began tracking homes under agreement in 2004. The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) announced the results of its July Future Indicators Report, showing a 17 percent increase in accepted offers since same time last year. Median price of accepted contracts rose nearly three percent to $360,000 during this period. …

“It’s no surprise to see buyer demand continue its strong pace into the second half of the year,” said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. “Combined with the fact that new listings to the market were up significantly in June, this should translate into good year-over-year sales numbers for July.”

Is the home sales picture actually improving?

Boston condos

Boston condos

There we were, enjoying a nice leisurely summer week, eking out a couple days of non-posting as August began.

And what happens?

Conflicting reports about the home-sales picture in Massachusetts.

As previously noted, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported that sales were down and prices up yet again across the state in June.

But the Warren Group later came out with slightly different numbers. Significantly, it showed a slight increase in sales in June, with accompanying price increases.

Are we reading the reports right?

Anyway, here’s what the Warren Group’s Tim Warren had to say:

Mortgage interest rates are lower than they were last summer and demand remains high as homebuyers seem to be overcoming the problems with low inventory. We could see more gains in sales volume in the big months of July and August.”

We definitely hope he’s right.

File under: Encouraging news, if true

The inventory blues just won’t go away

Boston condos

Boston condos

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors released new monthly sales and price numbers for June, showing that statewide sales were down (again) and prices were up (again) for both single-family homes and condos.

Nothing really new here.

But what caught our attention (again) is that inventories of homes for sale were down 6.9 percent and condos for sale were down a whopping 20 percent in June compared to a year ago.

New listings did increase by 4 percent, but it clearly wasn’t enough to substantially boost inventories. The result: Demand is exceeding supply, driving up prices, although at a slower pace than in the recent past.

File under: Boston Condos Inventory blues

Lack of housing inventory is getting ridiculous in Boston

Boston condos

Boston condos

Boston Massachusetts Condos

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors has released its May housing numbers.

And you guessed it: Sales down again last month in Massachusetts (by 9 percent for single-family homes and 1.1 percent for condos) while prices continue to soar ($347,900 median price for single families, up 7 percent; $316,000 for condos, up 9 percent).

The main culprit: Lack of supply.

Total inventory of homes for sale was down by about 8 percent last month while the average days on the market fell to 99 days, down nearly 11 percent. There was a bump up in new listings. MAR president Peter Ruffini says that possibly bodes well for the inventory problems.

But it’s still not nearly enough to meet demand. It’s ridiculous.

When is it going to change?

Update – Scott seems to agree with Peter that the listings increase could be good news if it’s sustained. … We’ll see. The increase, however, merely takes us back to a level that was already too low. We need a bunch of months of increased listings to put a dent in the inventory problem. Again, we’ll see.

File under: Inventory blues

Mother Nature’s Danger Zones for Massachusetts homes

Boston condos

Boston condos

We’re constantly hearing about major hurricanes in Florida, devastating earthquakes in California, and crazy tornadoes in the Midwest.

But we didn’t know that large portions of Massachusetts – i.e. Worcester and Middlesex counties – are actually among the most risky areas of the country in terms of natural disasters destroying homes via hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes, etc., according to Realty Trac.

It appears major snow blizzards are included in the risk factors. OK, we can understand that. But central Massachusetts is more risky than the Cape or Islands? Now that’s surprising. And the Cape has Great White Sharks too!

Btw: Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi have the riskiest areas.

File under: You’ve been warned

Quincy moving fast to replace Marina Bay nightclub with apartments

Boston real estate

Boston real estate

It’s pretty obvious the city of Quincy is no big fan of the Ocean Club at Marina Bay.

So that may partially explain the fast-track schedule for building a new 352-unit luxury apartment complex by developers Hines, of Houston, and Metlife Inc., of New York.

The developers only bought the prime ocean-front property 10 days ago, after the property got necessary zoning approvals from the city earlier this spring. Construction is scheduled to start next spring, which has to be an all-time zoning-to-groundbreaking record for a town or city in Massachusetts.

The new apartments spell the end to the Ocean Club at Marina Bay, hugely popular with young nightclub goers but, well, not so popular with nearby non-nightclub-goer residents.