Continuing the "trend" from September, lower prices are driving more buyers into the Massachusetts real estate market. Inventory is being purchased and taken off the market at a faster clip (at least for single families), theoretically indicating stabilization and a bottom in the state-wide market at some point in the near future (mid 2009 possibly?). Prices probably have a bit further to fall to continue to spur demand so the next few months will be very indicative whether this trend holds even in the face of economic weakness. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly given the financial turmoil, early indications from looking at "pending sales" (units that have gone under agreement) in October and November look soft. Those are the sales that will become the "sold" data for November and December so I do expect weakness over the winter season. The economy has pushed some buyers back to the sidelines recently, and who can blame them with all the doom and gloom forecasts. So basically, the housing market in Massachusetts looks fundamentally like it could be stabilizing but I expect the economic turmoil to delay the turnaround further.
For the specific Massachusetts real estate sold statistics in October '08:
Massachusetts Association of Realtors Data*
Warren Group Data*
Couple of other interesting observations:
As you can see, condo sales and prices both declined which could indicate that as prices of single families get closer to condo prices, buyers are choosing single families over condos at this point.
Months of inventory has declined to about 9.9 months overall, down from 11.9 months of supply in October '07 and 10.2 months in September '07. Typically, around 8 months of supply indicates a "balanced" market, so inventory is slowly declining towards stabilization.
*Massachusetts Association of Realtor data comes from sales through the multiple listing service and The Warren Group collects its data from the Registry of deeds, which is why there are some differences in the numbers. Typically both data sets show the same trends although the numbers may vary somewhat. I show both here for completeness.