Our local MLS is only as good as its data. Not every Boston agent uses MLS, to list their properties. I report MLS data on listings, under agreements, and sales, because it gives a good (and accurate) picture of what’s going on in the market, if ou compare the numbers to previous weeks, and months.
If a person wants to know the actual number of sales, however, MLS is of limited use. LINK, the other database used by Boston agents, is more accurate. Not all agents use LINK to list their properties, but, LINK updates its database with ALL closings, using information they pull from the registry of deeds, and other sources.
A reader sent me the following:
John, thanks for posting. Are these just resales? LINK posted quarterly numbers in last weekâ€™s (Aug 5-11) Boston Homes. Here are the numbers:
Back Bay: 2005 = $643k, 2006 = $585k
Beacon Hill: 2005 = $525k, 2006 = $480k
Midtown: 2005 = $855k, 2006 = $790k
North End: 2005 = $539k, 2006 = $450k
South End: 2005 = $513k, 2006 = $514k
These numbers are much more inclusive, and, therefore, give a better idea of what’s actually happening in the Boston market.
My statement, earlier, that inventory has gone up, because of the accumulation over the past year of unsold units, is accurate. And, in my opinion, sellers have to be more willing to lower their prices, if we are to get rid of that excess inventory.
I’m beginning to think, though, that the level of sales we’ve seen over the past couple of years is the anomaly, and that what we’re seeing this year, give or take a bit, is what should be considered “normal”.
Also, I am beginning to think it’s not just sales prices that determine whether or not people buy. It could be much more complex than that. Meaning, there may be a finite number of buyers, overall, and they may not care, that much, that Midtown prices dropped $65,000, over one year. (Especially since, in that time, interest rates have risen, offsetting any savings due to lower prices.)