Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crashachusetts: Home Sales and Prices April 2010

It’s been a while… For sake of brevity I have been trying to consolidate all my Mass-related housing posts into one comprehensive post but there is just too much data (condos, singles, RPX, CSI, MAR, etc.) so I’ll just do my best with whatever is the latest data point.

Also, it’s important to note that both the Warren Group and Radar Logic have gone offline as free data services so gone are my Arlington critiques and Boston RPX CSI mashup… such is life.

Today’s Boston Globe headline must read something like “Boston is Back!, Home Sales Leap with Nothing But Clean Sky’s Ahead” as the Mass Association of Realtors (MAR) pump their April sales, price and pending sales data but the fact is, the ridiculous housing trends seen in the Boston metro area for the last year have more to do with the tax gimmick and a false sense of stability than with any fundamental healing of our market.

Home prices are still too high in the Boston metro market and now that the charade of government meddling is largely complete (…though we still need to see higher interest rates and less foreclosure mitigation), we will likely soon find out how fundamental the supposed stabilization truly is.

In any event, the MAR released their April sales and price report showing that sales of single family homes surged 43.8% on a year-over-year basis while condo sales exploded up 63.9% over the same period.

The single family median home price increased 7.3% while the condo median price 6.8% on a year-over-year basis.

As for the Boston area S&P/Case-Shiller data, prices (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) increased 3.83% on a year-over-year basis in March bringing the peak decline to 17.01% since the fall of 2005.

As it is altogether likely that one of the major unforeseen consequences of the government tax scam will be less future sales, now is the time to really focus on our market to get a sense of which way housing is truly trending.