Boston bidding wars add to surging Massachusetts housing market recovery

Massachusetts single-family home sales increased approximately 19 percent in March 2012 compared to the same month in 2011, The Patriot Ledger reports. The uptick marked the busiest March in the state since 2007. Houses for sale in Boston, MA, are in demand, and many prospective homebuyers are willing to enter bidding wars to claim them.

Boston bidding wars wage on
An online analytics provider found that nearly 54 percent of MLS listings in the Greater Boston area went through some type of bidding war, indicating that land in the Hub has become highly in demand, The Boston Globe reports.

Market activity increases statewide
The Warren Group, a South Boston-based real estate tracking firm, conducted its own study and found that 3,205 single-family home sales were completed statewide in March 2012, compared with 2,688 a year earlier. However, the median price continued to slip, dropping 3.3 percent to $260,000.

In the South Shore area, homes sales fared much better than the state in the first quarter, with Plymouth and Norfolk counties up 26 percent each year-over-year, according to the Warren Group.

Corporate sales also rise
While single-family home closings have surged in 2012, large apartment portfolios have also made significant impacts in the housing market recovery. Recently, a 53-unit apartment portfolio changed hands in Cambridge's Harvard Square. The complex sold for $16 million, or $301,887 per unit, Boston/SF News reports.

The face of real estate in Boston may take on a new shape as buyers invest in single-family homes and large apartment developments in and around the city. The city has a thriving job market, with many well-regarded schools located in or around the Hub, so the expansive stock of recent graduates makes the metro area a prime destination for growing businesses. This could encourage increased corporate growth in the city, leading to higher home values, increases in bids and heavy activity in the coming months.

Buying a home today, with interest rates and home values at record-lows, may be worthwhile for people with the financial means to support themselves. Real estate experts predict that at the start of spring home transactions will begin to rise, and home values and mortgage premiums will follow suit. It may pay to get a head start and tour homes for sale in the area before they are claimed.