New numbers reported by the Warren Group shows the number of single-family homes in Massachusetts sold in July jumped nearly 12 percent compared to the same time last year. This was the first time since December 2008 that home sales have increased year-over-year.
These figures are unusual in Massachusetts since June is typically the biggest home sale month of the year - not July. CEO, Timothy Warren cited this as a hopeful sign.
"This is a much-needed boost for the state's housing market," he said in a statement. "We haven't had a double-digit gain in monthly home sales since last October. And the declines in home prices have been getting smaller every month."
Some first time home buyers who have been sitting on the fence have decided that this year's combination of low interest rates, low housing prices along with the government's $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit, has made this a year to make their dreams come true.
Condominium sales have also gained strength and were up for the first time since August 2007.
While median prices for single-family homes and condos were down, they were still at their highest point since August 2008. The number of pending sales (homes under agreement) was also up in July 4 percent from last year. It was the second straight month of year-over-year gains.
Gary Rogers, President of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said, "While it is only one month, the number of homes put under agreement are up, which means there is a good chance we could see additional months of increased sale ahead."
Before the celebration begins, there are some facts to be pondered. One is that the tax incentive program, which has injected new life into the market, is scheduled to be discontinued on November 30. Although there is some hope for an extension of the program, it is far from a sure thing, so and the race is still on for hopeful home buyers to beat the deadline.
We are far from being out of the woods yet, but I think these numbers should provide fuel for some cautious optimism in the days ahead.
Copyright 2009 - Claudette Millette, President,TheBuyersCounsel - 800-392-1446, E-mail
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