According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, July sales of single-family Massachusetts homes rose 27 percent on a year-to-year basis, the best July in seven years. A total of 4,979 single-family homes statewide sold last month, the best July for sales volume since 2005 and the median price of single-family homes inched up about 1 percent to $318,000 from a year ago.
In Needham, the average sales price actually dipped from $861,073 to $746,497 when comparing only July 2011 to July 2012 data. Although on the surface this might suggest some market weakness in Needham, it actually reveals that reviewing data from only one month can be misleading. In fact, when comparing sales data in Needham for the first eight months of 2011 to 2012, the market is proving to be very stable. The average sales price has remained steady overall at around $800,000, while there has been an increase in sales volume; average days on market is also fairly firm at around 100 days. There have been 30 more homes that have sold in Needham in 2012 so far this year, compared to last year; the total volume is 230 (sold homes). The market activity in Needham is still dominated by homes selling from $1,000,000 – $1,500,000 and $500,000 – $800,000. There have been only eight homes sold this year in Needham priced in the $900,000 range. This is a small number compared to 42 homes selling in the $500,000s and 51 homes selling from $1,000,0000 – $1,500,000.
At Hawthorn Real Estate, we have also seen steady activity in Needham with demand for new construction fairly strong. There are still some homes that languish on the market for awhile, as buyers are careful to make educated decisions. While the overall view portrayed in the Boston Globe article of a strengthening real estate market in Massachusetts appears to hold true in Needham, it is important to take a closer look at what the numbers really mean, especially if you are considering any personal real estate decisions.