Wednesday, November 29, 2006

October sales, prices, and inventory

MAR (here) and the Warren Report (here) recently released Massachusetts housing market data for October.

According to MAR: this October SFH sales were down 16.5% and prices were down 2% from October 2005; condo sales were down 17.6% and prices were down 3.7% over the same interval (see below for historical plots). While the decrease in sales is smaller than in the previous few months, keep in mind that last October was already a weak period so the comparisons are getting easier. In fact, single family home sales this year were off 23% from Oct. 2004, and 33% from Oct. 2003.

The Warren Report numbers, which are more inclusive, show SFH sales off 14.9%, and prices down 6.9%. Meanwhile, condo sales were off 19.5% and prices were down 4.8%.

Here are the historical trends for sales according to MAR data:

Here are the historical price trends, again according to MAR data:

To put the current unsold inventory into perspective, here are the historical numbers according to MAR:

Finally, here is a look at months inventory (total SFH and condo inventory/total sales):

While certain parties continue to spin these numbers as best they can, Wellesley College housing economist Karl Case puts them into the proper perspective (House prices plunge): "All of the indicators - sales volume, prices, everything - are pointing downward."