Wednesday, July 25, 2007

June Market Wrap

Here's the latest price data from MAR for SFHs (down 1.6% YOY) and Condos (up 4.4% YOY) plotted relative to recent history:
Frankly I'm surprised MAR has been so restrained about the new record high median condo price reached in June. Perhaps even they recognize that the relatively strong sales in the pricey downtown Boston condo market (see story here) are skewing the median price higher.

MAR also offered up a summary of Q2 data (see here) which I'll cover in a future post.

Once again the Warren Group reported prices that were much weaker than MAR, with SFH prices down 4.6%, and condo prices down 4.1% YOY. Here's a comparison of SFH YOY price changes over the last 16 months from the two organizations.

The reason I want to emphasize this plot is that the differences between the two reports are now spanning at least a two year period, so the trend is beginning to amplify. For instance MAR reported 2007 prices down 1.6% relative to 2006, and 2006 down 1.1% from 2005 (pretty much the market peak). That means MAR numbers indicate that the statewide SFH median price has fallen a cumulative 2.7% from summer 2005.

In contrast, the Warren Group has 2007 prices down 4.6% from 2006, and 2006 prices down 3.9% from 2005, for a cumulative drop in SFH median price of >8%. Now that is a meaningful difference, and one I don't see mentioned anywhere in the local coverage.

Monday, July 16, 2007

March-April-May Market wrap

I'm back from a too long hiatus, and just wanted to post updated SFH and Condo prices published by MAR for March, April and May.

Reading the media and blog coverage of these data releases, I couldn't help but notice a growing move toward balancing MAR numbers with those from the Warren Group and others. Below, I've plotted the YOY change in SFH prices over the last 15 months from both MAR and the Warren Group. For comparison, I've also plotted the S&P Case-Schiller HPI for the Boston MSA, which differs from the others in that it reports prices from repeat transactions, in a smaller geographical area.

Clearly MAR numbers have trended toward less severe price declines than those from the Warren Group (I couldn't track down Sept 06 data). The difference was particularly pronounced in May (+0.65% vs -4.6%). One likely explanation for the trend: sellers at lower price points are increasingly selling without a realtor, hence some lower price transactions captured by the Warren Group are missed by the MAR.