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Massachusetts Home Sales in August Down for the Second Month in a Row

Home sales in Massachusetts in August were down 2% compared to August 2013. According to data provided by the Warren Group, there were 8,775 homes of all types (single-family, condo, multi-family) sold in August this year compared to last August when there were 8,991 home sales.

Massachusetts Home Sales in August

Sales for single-family homes were about the same as last year: 5,793 in August compared to 5,801 last August, a difference of less than 1%.

Condo sales, however, dropped 12% in August of this year compared to August last year, making it the second time this year condo sales didn’t increase compared to condo sales in the same month in 2013. (In July condo sales dropped 4%.) In August there were 2,186 condos sold in Massachusetts compared to 2,481 sold in August 2013. Multi-family sales showed the only gain: 796 sold in August compared to 709 last August, up 12% and the highest year over year increase for multi-family home sales this year.

As we expected, prices have flattened out. The average selling price for a home in August was $358,239, up just over 1% compared to last August, when the average price was $352,987. We would not be surprised if prices decreased a bit in the months to come.

Prices based on type of home didn’t go up dramatically either. The average price for a single-family home in Massachusetts was $399,721 up 1.6% compared to last August when it was $393,248. Condo prices were up 2% at $294,780, and selling prices for multi-family homes stayed flat at $354,698 compared to $354,148 last year.

This trend in home sales was similar in In Southern New Hampshire (Cheshire, Hillsborough, and Rockingham Counties), where home sales were down 3%. There were 1,123 home sales in August compared to 1,158 in August of last year.

The average selling price for a home in Southern New Hampshire was $257,127, up 7% compared to last August when the average price was $240,622.

What’s In Store for September Home Sales

We expect September home sales to be down compared to September of last year, because the market has been slower than normal and was especially slow in August. Inventory is now higher, which has been great for buyers but it has impacted the price increases we saw in the spring when inventory was lower. As we mentioned in our report last week, in the spring there were 30% fewer homes on the market than there are on the market now. While demand has picked up, it’s not enough to absorb all the homes currently on the market.

But we expect home sales to go back up in October. Sales this month are starting to pick up, and last year the government shutdown had a negative effect on the housing market, so October home sales should be higher this year compared to October 2013.