Report: Mass. Posts Worst Housing Numbers in Fifteen Years

The Massachusetts housing market continued to slump in November, with single-family home and condominium sales plunging by double-digit percentages and the single-family home median sale price falling 6.5 percent. According to a report issued today by the Warren Group, a real estate data provider, single-family home sales dropped by 13.5 percent from November 2005 levels – their eighth double-digit percentage drop this year. Sales have now dropped from year-before levels in 25 of the last 28 months. The 4,130 homes sold in November 2006 marked the lowest sales figure for a November time period since 1992. The state’s single-family home median sale price also decreased in November to $315,000 from $337,000 in November 2005. The median home sale price has now dropped in eight of the last nine months and is down more than 13 percent from the $364,000 peak registered in June 2005. While condominium sales fell by 10.1 percent from November 2005, the drop-off wasn’t as steep as it had been during the past four months, when sales fell between 19 and 28 percent. The 2,222 condos sold in November 2006 was less than comparable months in 2004 and 2005, but it exceeded all other November sales dating back at least to 1987. Statewide, the condominium median sale price dipped 1.8 percent to $269,900. “We’re still in a decline, but the slope is not as steep as it was in the summer and early fall,” said Timothy Warren, Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “We’re starting to see some signs of stabilization.” For the first 11 months of the year, Massachusetts single-family home sales are down 15 percent from the comparable period in 2005, and median prices are down 5.1 percent, to $327,500. Condo sales have fallen by 13.3 percent from the prior year while the median sale price is down 1.3 percent to $275,000. Through November this year, all 14 Massachusetts counties have seen single-family home sales decline. The declines were most pronounced in Nantucket County (29.6 percent) and Barnstable County (22 percent), while Hampshire (6.4 percent) and Hampden (7.8 percent) experienced the smallest drops. Nantucket (9.6 percent), Hampden, Berkshire and Hampshire all have posted median price increases while Suffolk’s and Worcester’s price drops were the largest, both exceeding 6 percent.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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