Boston housing inventory is down, but condo sales are soaring
In the Greater Boston metro area, the number of for-sale homes is dwindling. While slight increases in transactions have helped reduce the amount of houses for sale in Boston, a greater factor is the hesitant seller population. Many people still fear that entering the housing market today will only result in a short sale or a settlement for a much lower premium than they'd prefer. This trend may be a national problem, rather than just what is seen in the Hub.
According to the Department of Numbers, inventory has fallen 24.2 percent in 54 metro areas compared to the June 2011 metrics. The Boston area is no exception, with home and condo inventories down more than 19 percent since July 2011. While listings usually drop in the first few months of each new year, they almost always pick up speed as the summer approaches, but this trend has failed to materialize in 2012, which has many housing experts perplexed.
As inventory dwindles, asking prices continue to rise in the Hub. In July 2012, the area has seen a 7.7 percent increase in asking prices, reports the source. This results in a median price of $334,900 in the greater metro area.
However, while inventory is down, condo sales are up, which adds drama to the story of Boston real estate. According to The Warren Group, the city's condominium market improved in the first five months of 2012, increasing 22 percent compared to the previous year. The Boston Business Journal cites sales in Jamaica Plain, South Boston and downtown neighborhoods are the prime areas of growth in 2012, and these locations may prove to remain steady as the year progresses.
Condo sales rose to 1,579, which is up from 1,291 on a year-over-year basis. Jamaica Plain saw 125 sales, South Boston experienced 221 sales and downtown Boston neighborhoods like Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, South End and the Waterfront combined for 663 sales, reports the Boston Business Journal.
With inventory rates down and asking prices up, home sellers may want to take a leap of faith and enter the Boston housing market, especially if they plan to list condominiums. As 2012 progresses, the local housing market continues to take shape, and looks to have a bright, but slowly growing, future.