Home Sales Up in April for Tenth Consecutive Month
For the tenth consecutive month, sales of single-family homes rose in April, increasing 11% over the same time last year. The last time home sales improved for 10 consecutive months was September 2009 – June 2010. The increased sales activity is being driven by record low mortgage rates, a stronger job market, and rising rents in greater Boston, which have motivated buyers to enter the housing market. Historically, the 745 detached single-family homes sold in April 2012 ranks tenth of all time, with 953 homes sold in April 1998 having set the record for the busiest April ever for home sales in Greater Boston.
The median selling price for detached single-family homes declined modestly by approximately 2 ½ percent over the past year, decreasing from a median of $429,000 in April 2011 to $418,500 this April. It’s the third time since the beginning of the year that the monthly median price has slipped on an annual basis, reflecting increased activity among entry-level buyer and the fact that distressed property sales are still weighing on the market though less significantly so than in earlier years.
Condominium sales also rose 18.5% in April, increasing from 633 condos sold a year ago to 750 this April. This marks the fourth consecutive month and ninth time in the last 10 months that condo sales have improved on an annual basis. It’s also the largest percentage increase in monthly condo sales on an annual basis since July 2011 when sales rose 21 percent over the previous July.
The condo median selling price increased steadily for a third consecutive month in April, climbing nearly 6 percent on an annual basis, from $351,000 in April 2011 to $371,500 this April. Additionally, on a month-to-month basis, the median selling price rose 9.3 percent over the March median selling price of $340,000. The monthly median selling price is now at its highest point in 10 months, having last exceeded the April median price in June 2011 at $375,000. Prices are being driven higher by the limited inventory of condo units for sale, which are down 30 percent from last April, and a sharp increase in high-end unit sales (those priced at $900,000 or more) which rose over the past year by one-third (33.3%) from 39 last April to 51 in April 2012.
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