Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back with a full market wrap

It's been three months since my last post. Way too long, but family and work deadlines come first.

After relatively strong months in July and August, the housing market in Massachusetts abruptly slowed in September. The mismatch in market results reported by the MAR (here) and the Warren Group (here) continues. Below is a comparison on the year over year change in SFH prices reported by both organizations over the past 19 months:

According to the more complete Warren Group numbers, SFH prices are down 4.4% from last September, and a cumulative 13.1% since September 2005.

Looking more closely at the MAR numbers, sales for both SFHs and condos plummeted in September:
Condo sales in September were the weakest since 2002, while SFH sales were the weakest since 1992 according to the MAR press release (PDF).

MAR continues to report that median prices are holding up fairly well:

Note that while median condo prices remain above past year levels, median SFH prices reported by MAR are down 5.5% from 2005 levels, and are below 2004 levels.

The one tentative sign of improving market conditions over the past year has been the better balance between for sale inventories and monthly sales (i.e., Months Inventory). The plummeting sales in September returned this figure to 12.1 months, close to last year's level.