2-year high for Mass. home sales, Worcester median price declines

Reports from the Warren Group, which tracks homes sales figures, reported late last month that single family home sales in Massachusetts hit a 2-year high statewide. Just short of 5,500 homes sold in June, up from almost 4,370 for the previous year, and year-to-date sales are up by almost 25 percent. Using a different method to track home sales, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported just under 5,425 homes sold in June, an increase from the 4,577 figure reported the previous year.

Both groups agree that the numbers reflect similar levels to what was seen when the homebuyer tax credit was generating an increase in home sales market activity. Worcester County sales figures show an increase of nearly 36 percent last month, according to the Warren Group. The median price for a home in Worcester County fell however, by almost 11 percent over the prior year. The medium price dropped to $210,000. Statewide the median price of a home fell only 1 percent from $325,000 to $322,000.

A press release issued by the Realtors Association said that prices could increase if home sales remain active with fewer sellers putting homes on the market. The chief executive of the Warren Group stated today’s current low mortgage rate along with consumer confidence in the market are helping. And, according to Zillow Inc., since 2007 home values nationally saw its first year-over-year increase, good news indeed. And Goldman Sachs Group Inc, weighed in on a message to its clients stating it raised its rating on the homebuilding industry from neutral to attractive.

Although the numbers are encouraging for signs the residential real estate market is recovering, some are still concerned whether the market has reached bottom and is indeed on its way up. Many mortgages are still under water and initial foreclosure notices are still on the rise with a 6 percent increase in the second quarter from the prior year. Whether buying or selling, many consumers may need assistance with the myriad of rules and programs available to them. Residential real estate need not be troublesome with the right legal assistance at your disposal.

Source: Telegram & Gazette, “Mass. Home sales hit 2-year high,” Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, July 25, 2012

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