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December Home Prices Experience First Double-Digit Increase Since 2005

Dilip Varghese
01/26/2010

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS┬« (MAR) reported today that median sale prices of single-family home sales and condominiums were each up 10.9 percent compared to December 2008.  This is the first time prices have gone up by double digits since 2005.  Home sales were up 14.6 percent compared to the same time last year while condominium sales were up 31.7 percent.  With six straight months of sales increases, 2009 finished up 4.1 percent while prices were down 6.8 percent compared to 2008.   

There were 3,007 detached single-family homes sold this December, a 14.6 percent increase from the 2,623 homes sold the same time last year.  On a month-to-month basis, home sales were down 21.2 percent from 3,816 homes sold this past November.

The median selling price for single-family homes in December was $305,000, an increase of 10.9 percent compared to $275,000 in December 2008.  The December median price was up $52,500 (20 percent) from the 2009 low of $252,500 in February.  On a month-to-month basis, the December median selling price was up 7.0 percent from $285,000 in November 2009.  

  The December condominium market was up 31.7 percent compared to the same time last year (from 943 units sold in 2008 to 1,242 units sold in 2009).  On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were down 22.1 percent compared to the 1,595 units sold this past November.    

 Condominium median selling prices in December were also up 10.9 percent from $230,000 in 2008 to $255,000 in 2009.  The December median price was up $51,000 (25 percent) from the 2009 low of $204,000 in January. On a month-to-month basis, the median selling price of a condominium was up 2.4 percent from a November median of $249,000.

Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of December 30, 2009 decreased 14.0 percent from December 2008 (25,178 listings in 2008 to 21,743 listings in 2009) which translates into 7.2 months of supply in December 2009.  This is down from 9.6 months of supply last year and up from 6.5 months in November.  December supply was at its lowest level since December 2001.  The December peak was 30,651 homes in 2006.  This is the 21st  straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the year before.

The condominium market saw December inventory decrease by 16 percent from last year (10,620 listings in 2008 to 8,942 listings in 2009), which translates into 5.6 months of supply, which is down from 11.3 months in December 2008 and down from 6.5 months this past November.  This is the 21th straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the year before.

Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 125 days in December 2009 compared to an average of 140 days in December 2008, while condos stayed on the market an average of 136 days, down from an average of 142 days in December 2008.  On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were up from 116 days and condos were up from 128 days in November.

2009 Year End Sales and Prices:
The number of detached single-family homes sold in 2009 went up 4.1 percent from 2008 (from 35,565 to 37,020 homes).  The number of condominiums sold in 2009 went up 2.1 percent (from 15,039 to 15,361 units).

The median price for a single-family home declined 6.8 percent from 2008 (from $311,000 to $290,000).  The condominium market saw median prices decrease 7.2 percent from 2008 (from $271,500 to $252,000).

 Single-family homes stayed on the market 136 days on average in 2009, as compared to 144 days on average in 2007.  The average monthly inventory (26,984 homes) was 15.85 percent lower in 2009 than it was in 2008 (32,065 homes).  This translates to 8.6 months of supply on average for 2009 compared to 10.6 months of supply on average in 200Condominiums stayed on the market 147 days on average in 2009, compared to 149 days on average in 2008.  The average monthly inventory (11,330 units) was 19.25 percent lower than 2008 average level of 14,030 units statewide.  This translates to 8.6 months of supply on average for 2009, compared to 10.8 months of supply on average in 2008.

Multi-family home sales were up 5.2 percent in 2009 compared to 2008 (from 6,348 homes sold in 2008 to 6,681 homes in 2009).  Median sales prices for multi-family homes were 10.6 from $212,500 in 2008 to $190,000 in 2009.

(Contributed by Dilip and Sara Varghese of Taj Boston Reality (www.TajBoston.com) and The Massachusetts Association of Realtors. )

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