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August Proves to be Another Strong Month for Home Sales

August Home Sales 25% Higher than Last Year

August 2012 marks the 8th straight month home sales in Massachusetts have increased this year. 7,370 homes of all types (single-family, condo, and multi-family) sold in August* compared to 5,890 in August of 2011, an increase of 25%.

Many communities in Massachusetts saw double digit increases in the number of homes sold. Even with these large increases in sales, many of these towns saw increases in the average selling prices for homes.

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In the metro Boston area, Chelsea home sales increased 166.67% compared to August of last year. The average selling price for a home in Chelsea was $207,777, an increase of 10.64%. In Jamaica Plain, 69 homes sold in August compared to 40 last year, an increase of 72.50%. The average home price in Jamaica Plain was $487,610, a slight increase of 1.65% compared to August 2011.

Demand for existing homes continues to drive sales across Massachusetts. In Cape Cod, home sales in Orleans saw a large increase of 116.67%; 26 homes sold in August compared to just 12 last year; 19 of these were single-family homes. The average home prices in Orleans increased 17.57%, to $530,489. In Harwich, 30 single-family homes sold in August, compared to 10 last August, an increase of 200%. The average selling price for single-family homes also increased 20.5% compared to last August, at $447,546.

Home sales in the city of Salem were up 90.91% compared to last year, with 63 homes sold compared to 33 last year. The average selling price rose 10.75%, to $304,445. North Attleboro home sales increased 73.68%, with a 26.99% gain in the average home price, which was $275,232.

27 homes sold in Foxboro compared to 17 last August, an increase of 58.82%. Average sale prices in Foxboro rose 9.80%, to $303,419. The number of home sales in Quincy jumped to 103 for the month of August, 49.28% more than last August. The average home price in Quincy was $341,298, a gain of 7.70% compared to last August.

The town of Auburn showed an increase of home sales of 46.67%, and an average selling price of $203,191, an increase of 7.41%. Haverhill home sales rose 31.48% with 71 home sales for the month compared to 54 last August. The average sales price for a home in Haverhill was $197,861, an increase of 4.21%.

97 homes sold in Lowell in August compared to 78 last August, an increase of 24.36%. About a third of these homes were condos. Average home prices increased 4.31% to $164,180.

Home Sales Up in New Hampshire

In Rockingham, Cheshire, and Hillsborough counties in Southern New Hampshire, 1,002 homes of all types sold in August of this year, compared to 688 last August, an increase of 45.6%. Average home prices in Southern New Hampshire reached $223,560, up 5.8% from August of 2011.

Rockingham County saw the largest increase in home sales, with 438 homes sold in August 2012 compared to 252 homes last August, an increase of 73.81%. Average prices for homes increased 8.67%, at $260,007.

Portsmouth New Hampshire home sales increased 117.65%. About half of these sales were condo sales. The average price for all homes in Portsmouth rose to $377,570, an increase of 30.38%.

In the town of Manchester, New Hampshire, a total of 118 homes sold in August, 25.53% more than last year, with the average price at $157,029, an increase of 4.23%.

As we mentioned in our fall real estate forecast, the lower inventory of homes is causing increased competition which continues to drive sales. The number of homes listed for sale for the month of September, for instance, is lower than it was last September by 17%. With more buyers taking advantage of the low interest rates, this trend should continue. Fall is the second busiest market for home sales, so home sellers shouldn’t wait until spring to put their homes on the market. With eight consecutive months of home sale gains, this is a great time to sell your home.

*Reports are for all counties in Central and Eastern Massachusetts as well as Southern New Hampshire (including Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester, Cheshire, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties) Reports provided by The Warren Group. Copyright ©2012 The Warren Group.  All Rights Reserved.