Boston Area Home Prices Up in March

Boston area home prices grew year-over-year in March by 8.2 percent, but slower than the average of 20 of the nation’s largest cities, which saw growth of 12.4 percent, according to a survey released this week by the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Case-Shiller, which many consider a leading measure of U.S. home prices, said Boston area home prices weren’t the only area where prices improved but slowed. The National and Composite Indices from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. saw their annual rates of gain slow significantly in March, a sign that year-over-year prices are rising, but more modestly.

Boston Area Home Prices Beginning to Steady

Boston area home prices were up again in MarchStan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said the big annual gains in housing are the result of a witch’s brew of sorts, concocted from a combination of an enormous decline in home prices during the bust, incredibly low mortgage rates and stubbornly high negative equity. But these influences are beginning to fade, he said, and he’s already seeing a monthly slowdown in home prices in more recent data.

“Housing prices already have or will soon surpass their pre-recession peaks in many areas, mortgage rates are rising and negative equity is receding,” Humphries said in a statement. “While we’re on the road back to normal, this process won’t happen overnight, and we’re still several years away from a housing market driven purely by fundamentals like income growth and rising household formations.”

Despite signs of decelerating prices, all cities were higher than a year ago and all but New York were higher in March than in February. However, only Denver and Dallas have set new post-crisis highs and they experienced relatively lower peak levels than other cities. Four locations are fairly close to their previous highs: Boston (8 percent), Charlotte (9 percent , Portland (13 percent and San Francisco (15 percent).

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2013 Boston Area Home Prices Rose Less Than Nationally

Boston area home prices increased by nearly 10 percent in 2013, but the hike was less than the national average, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices.

S&P data through December 2013 found that Boston area home prices increased by 9.6 percent in 2013, while national home prices closed the year up 11.3 percent.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. For example, Boston area home prices slipped by 0.1 percent in December compared to November of last year.

Meanwhile, Boston area condo sales hit their highest level since 2004 last year.

Boston area home prices were up in 2013, although not as much as the national average.3,575 condos sold in the dozen Boston downtown neighborhoods from the Back Bay to the West End, up from 3,324 in 2012, a 7.5 percent rise. While the volume increased so did prices. The median price for a condo increased by nearly 11 percent to $555,000, up from $501,250 in 2012, the highest ever recorded price.

The hottest neighborhood in terms of volume was South Boston where 748 condos changed hands, followed by the South End with 705 units sold, while the Back Bay came in third with 514 sales.

When it comes to median price, the highest priced neighborhood was Midtown ­— also called the Ladder District — the area bordered by the Boston Common, Financial District, Chinatown and Bay Village — where the median was $1 million, followed by the Back Bay at $798,750 while the Waterfront finished third at $740,625.

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2014 Boston Area Home Prices – Slower Pace Expected

Boston area home prices rose at almost unsustainable rates in 2013, but many analysts are predicting a slower pace when it comes to rising Boston area home prices in 2014. Gus Faucher, Senior Macro Economist with PNC looks ahead at what he sees for the economy as well as housing in the new year…

Obviously, a lot of things have to happen, in the right order, for the economy to continue to pull itself out of the recession and housing to continue to grow, and we’ll stay on top of the Boston area housing market throughout this year and keep you up to date on things that affect our market.

Check out our other articles and tips pertaining to Boston area home prices and the Boston area real estate market in general by clicking on the Boston Real Estate News link to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories. You can also get daily tips and news by following us on Twitter, and Liking us on Facebook!

Boston Area Home Prices Back to 2004 Levels

Boston area home prices, along with home prices across much of the country, are back to their mid-2004 levels. This news comes from the S&P/Case Shiller index as of September 2013.

Boston area home prices jumped again in September, marking their biggest annual gain in at least 7-1/2 years. Nationwide, the price index is up 13.3 percent year-over-year, the strongest increase since the boom peaked in 2006.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index rose 0.7 percent month-over-month in September on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

As of the third quarter of 2013, average Boston area home prices, as well as home prices across the United States, were back to their levels posted in the second quarter of 2004.

At the end of the third quarter of 2013, the national index was up 3.2 percent over the second quarter of 2013, and 11.2 above the third quarter of 2012.

“Housing continues to emerge from the financial crisis: the proportion of homes in foreclosure is declining and consumers’ balance sheets are strengthening,” according to David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The longer run question is whether household formation continues to recover and if home ownership will return to the peak levels seen in 2004.”

Boston area Home Prices Up – Pending Home Sales Slip

While Boston area home prices continue to rise, the closely-watched index that measures pending home sales, or signed contracts but not closings, slipped again in October, falling to its lowest level in one year.

The reasons for the slump are mainly falling inventory and diminishing affordability, fueled by higher Boston area home prices and higher interest rates.

Pending home sales nationwide, not just in the Boston area market, marked the fifth consecutive monthly decline, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Boston area home prices are up, pending home sales slip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get more news on Boston area home prices, along with other Boston area real estate news and information by clicking the Boston Real Estate News link to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories.

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Boston Area Home Prices See Increases Widen in September

After taking a break in the summer, Boston area home prices got back up to strength in September, according to statistics reported by DataQuick in the company’s monthly Property Intelligence Report. Other metrics, however, weakened.

Boston Area Home Prices See Rapid Growth

Boston area home prices see increases widen in SeptemberDataQuick reported that Boston area home prices “resumed at a rapid rate of growth in September and spread to all” of its 42 reporting counties on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. With the exception of July and August, DataQuick says growth of Boston area home prices has spread consistently, just as it has around the country, in the last 12 to 18 months, with all reporting markets seeing growth “in excess of their long term average.”

There has been an increase in Boston area home prices and overall sales as homeowners with negative equity are gradually swept toward a position of positive equity, a decrease in foreclosures as homeowners have the equity to sell and avoid default, and an increase in demand for home equity lines of credit as borrowers look to tap into increased equity from home price growth.

Other factors DataQuick says to look out for are: “Continued single-family rental demand driven by decreases in home affordability, sustained risk of Boston area home prices seeing corrections and stringent mortgage credit standards, and an increase in purchases by investors” driven by the two preceding factors.

The risk of a “substantial correction” runs especially high as growth rates remain elevated, especially since growth isn’t supported by steady economic fundamentals.

In the past, moderate economic fundamentals have supported long term growth of Boston area home prices with rates of three to four percent respectively. While generally positive, current economic drivers are weaker than those experienced in most previous expansions, leading to considerable uncertainty about future economic prospects.

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