For the first time in half a year, single-family home sales in Massachusetts posted some year-over-year gains. Last month, the state experienced a 7 percent leap in homes sales over the year prior according to real estate data tracking firm the Warren Group, while the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported a 14 percent increase in a “slightly narrower swath of the real estate market”. Although this sounds like good news, some analysts are saying that the numbers – regardless of which numbers you use – are skewed because the federal homebuyers tax credit expired in June of last year and, as a result, July 2010 home sales were “particularly depressed” following the expiration of that credit. “I don’t think this is the really super-awesome news people were looking for,” says Cory Hopkins, managing editor of the Warren Group’s publication Banker & Tradesman, although he allowed that “if we had been down that would have been a bigger problem.” Home prices remained “relatively steady,” slipping down less than one percent from a year earlier with the median home price holding firm above $300,000 for the third straight month.
Not surprisingly, MAR is taking a far more optimistic approach to the numbers, with MAR president Laurie Cadigan declaring that “more buyers are entering the market because of the unusually low mortgage rates that are currently available”. She added that “the buying community [doesn’t] want to be sitting at the kitchen table in two years saying ‘We should have bought in 2011.’”
What do you think about the major discrepancy between the numbers that the Warren Group is using and those of MAR?
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