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Home Sales Continue to Climb

The number of detached single-family homes sold rose on an annual basis for a thirteenth consecutive month in July, climbing 24 percent over the same month one year ago.  It’s the largest percentage increase in year-over-year sales since this past February when sales rose 33 percent over February 2011.  Double-digit increases in sales growth on an annual basis has now occurred in each of the first seven months of 2012.  The last time home sales improved for 13 consecutive months on an annual basis was April 1997 – April 1998. The increased sales activity continues to be driven by record low mortgage rates, an improved job market, and a stabilization in home values in greater Boston, all of which are spurring buyers to enter the housing market.  The 1,281 detached single-family homes sold last month makes it the most active July for home sales in eight years, and July 2012 now ranks as the fourth busiest July on record for home sales in Greater Boston, exceeded only by July 2004 (1,473 homes sold), July 2005 (1,335 sales), and July 1999 (1,325 sales). 

Condominium sales rose to their highest level for the month of July in three years, increasing nearly 20 percent on an annual basis to 1,025 units sold.  This marks the twelfth time in the past 13 months that condo sales have improved on an annual basis.  Also, mirroring the detached single-family home market, condo sales have experienced double-digit sales gains on a year-to-year basis during each of the first seven months of 2012.  Historically, last month’s sales total ranks as the sixth best on record for the month of July in Greater Boston, topped only by July 2005 (1,268 condos sold), July 2004 (1,187 units sold), July 2009 (1,074 units sold), July 2007 (1,073 units sold), and July 2008 (1,042 units sold).   On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales fell 19 percent from June, when 1,266 condominium units were sold.  However, June 2012 was the single busiest month for condo sales in nearly five years, so the decline is not too alarming given that sales activity typically eases during the summer months. 

To access monthly data by community, check out our Local Market Update reports, and our Monthly Market Indicator Reports for comprehensive regional housing market data for the GBAR/GBREB jurisdiction.