Not only is volume down, so is inventory, according to the Globe.
A slowdown in the number of available modern condominiums contributed to a 15 percent decline in sales in the downtown Boston real estate market during the second quarter of this year …
… [Meanwhile, the] citywide median price, or midpoint price, for a condo increased 5.4 percent, to $500,000, compared with the same period last year. The average price surged 8 percent, to $697,837, driven by sales of new, more expensive units with luxury amenities. The data was provided yesterday by the Listing Information Network Inc., which tracks the downtown housing market …
… The supply of condos has fallen steadily since peaking in 2006 at about 1,800 condos. Currently, there are 1,250 properties listed for sale – roughly the same as in June 2007 – in the 12 neighborhoods tracked by LINK, which include Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, the North End, and the South End.
This seems pretty accurate, based on my first-hand observations. Less buyers, but also less sellers. New developments coming on the market during the next couple of years should find a steady, but slow, stream of buyers. And, presumably, developers have deep pockets, so they can wait out the market.
(Current inventory as reported by local listing services is not accurate as many new developments completely bypass this method of selling. 45 Province, for example, only has a couple listings in LINK and MLSPIN, even though over 100 units remain available for sale (by their own tally).)
Source: Downtown condo sales slide 15% – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe