The Massachusetts housing market cooled for the eighth straight month in November as home sales and prices continued to decline from their 2005 levels, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
There were 3,246 detached single-family homes sold in November, down 12.6 percent from November 2005 when sales hit 3,713. The median home sales price slipped 4 percent from a year ago, falling from $354,000 to $340,000.
Although there were 5,000 fewer homes actively listed in November than there were in October, the statewide inventory of 35,254 listed homes was 25 percent higher than November 2005, providing 10.9 months of supply versus 7.6 months last November. Listing time of detached single-family homes rose from an average of 95 days in November 2005 to 130 days for homes sold this November.
“With home prices leveling, interest rates remaining low, inventory still plentiful and more sellers accepting market-based pricing, Bay State home buyers have a special window of opportunity right now,” said David Wluka, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. “We just don’t know how long the window will stay open, with factors remaining so favorable. For anyone trying to time the market, the waiting game may be a big mistake.”
Condominiums were a bright spot in the state’s housing market, as the 1,401 sales in November were the third highest on record for any November in state history, topped only by November 2005 (1,622) and November 2004 (1,599).
November’s median condo selling price increased for the first time in the last five months, to $270,000, which was 1.9 percent above the same period last year.
The number of condos for sale in November increased 37 percent to 17,851 from 13,024 units a year earlier, which represents 12.7 months of supply, up from eight months in 2005. Similar to the detached home market, condo units stayed on the market longer in November, with average condo listing time rising from 85 days in November 2005 to 121 days in November 2006.