November home sales in MASS highest since 2005

Sales of SFHs increased 38% over a year ago in November. Condo sales were up 33%.
The SFH median price increased 2%, while for the condos the figure was 7%.
Median prices were the same – $275,000 – for both SFHs and condos.
Data comes from the Warren Group
Jennifer McKim boston.com December 27, 2012
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Case-Shiller: prices rose 4.3% in year to October, above estimates

It is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength.
Last week’s final revision to third quarter GDP growth showed that housing represented 10% of the
growth while accounting for less than 3% of GDP.
S&P/Case-Shiller December 26, 2012
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November Existing-Home Sales and Prices Maintain Uptrend

Existing home sales in November were up 14.% from a year ago and reached the highest level since November 2009.
The median price rose rose for the 9th consecutive month and is up 10.1% from a year ago.
Housing inventory fell to 4.8 months of supply, the lowest level since September 2005.
National Association of Realtors, December 20, 2012

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Essex County “8th healthiest housing market in country for 2013”

The healthy markets that made the list have strong job growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics), which bodes well for housing demand; low vacancy rates (U.S. Postal Service)–low enough to encourage new construction, but not so low that inventory and sales are restrained; and low foreclosure inventory (RealtyTrac), since foreclosures tend to hold back recovery.
Jed Kolko, Chief Economist, Trulia December 21, 2012

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Improving Housing Trends likely to continue into 2013.

A combination of factors, including declining time-on-market, a drop in distressed properties and rising average home prices, are all pointing to a strengthening housing market in the months ahead.
Campbell/InsideMortgage Housing Pulse, December 21, 2012
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Foreclosures drop 28% in year, lowest since December 2006

The latest data offers “more evidence that we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem brought about by the housing bubble bursting six years ago,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac
National Association of Realtors, December 13, 2012
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Housing starts decline slightly in November because of Sandy, but rise 21.6% from year ago.

November starts were 861,000. The recession low was 478,000 in April 2009, but the current level is still well below the 1.5 million considered to reflect a healthy market.
89.3 KPCC December 19,2012
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MA pending home sales up in November for 19th straight month

MA pending home sales up in November for 19th straight month according to Massachusetts Association of Realtors
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Property Tax Rates for 2013 in Marblehead and the North Shore

Often lost in the shuffle in the hecticness of the holiday season is the announcement of the new property tax rate, which actually becomes effective from July 1, 2012. What this means is that most of us have been paying less than we owe during the first half of the year, which is why our bills will go up for the second half of the year. (more…)

Foreclosure crisis finally appears to be ebbing

Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Globe, December 1
As a result of an improving economy and successful loan modification programs, the foreclosure crisis both in MA and nationally finally seems to be ebbing.
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Condo sales: bumping along the bottom?

Unlike the SFH market, sales of condos remain well below the levels of the early years of this century, as the following table shows:


©Oliver Reports
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SFH sales on track for best year since 2005

November saw 14 sales of SFHs, taking the YTD total to 211. This makes 2012 already the largest sales year since 2005. The moving average in the chart clearly shows the recovery to more normal sales levels. (more…)

Why it pays to bank locally

Here are three stories about National Grand Bank (NGB):

1.On the Monday that Hurricane Sandy was blowing into town, Harborside Realty had a closing scheduled where the buyer was getting a mortgage from a “big box” bank. Said bank decided not to open that day, but did not feel it was necessary to inform their customers. What to do? (more…)

New home sales slip in October on Sandy; September revised down sharply. Supply only 4.8 months.

New home sales slip in October on Sandy; September revised down sharply. Supply only 4.8 months.
RTT News November 28,2012
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“Every Single Thing About Housing Is Flashing Green”

These were the words used by J.P.Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, in a recent interview with CNBC. Dimon pointed out that housing formation was up, inventory down and housing affordability was at an all-time high.

In my mid-year 2011 Marblehead Reporter review I wrote: The biggest restraining factor today is probably confidence, or the lack thereof.”

The following news items indicate that confidence is returning to the real estate market across the country. (more…)