Monday, December 22, 2008

Collapsedachusetts Existing Home Sales Preview: November 2008

Sources inside the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) report that this tomorrow's monthly existing home sales results will show that November’s single family home sales completely collapsed dropping 21.8% on a year-over-year basis while condo sales crumpled a staggering 27.3% over the same period firmly indicating that a new and dramatic leg of the housing downturn has commenced.

Further, the single family median home value declined a whopping 14.2% on a year-over-year basis to $283,000 while condo median prices dropped 9.1% to $250,000.

Clearly, the impact of the recent stock market crash and ongoing economic crisis is bearing down on both consumer sentiment and, more fundamentally, credit availability resulting in a significant pullback in spending on homes and other costly purchases.

It’s perfectly clear now that home sellers who choose to wait out the “down market” did so in vain as the 2008 selling season draws to a close likely the last opportunity to sell a residential property at anywhere near the prices set in the peak boom years.

With confidence depressed and eroding, economic conditions weakening, credit standards tightening and sales volumes crumbling, Boston area home prices have nowhere left to go but down.

It’s also important to note that the November’s single family home sales count was the lowest November count on record since 1991 and at 2339 units sold was 43.63% below the record November peak set in November 1998.

The following charts (click for larger) show the decline in single family home sales since 2005.

Notice that November 2008 registered a home sales count well below the 2007 level as well as indicating that the December’s results may very well drop below 2000 units, a significant decline.