After finding year-over-year increases from July through November, Massachusetts saw a 5 percent drop in single-family home sales, according to a report by The Warren Group.
Dec. 2010 saw 3,558 homes sold in the state, compared to 3,380 in Dec. 2011, the article reports. Additionally, home sales for all of 2011 totaled 38,994, down from 2010’s number of 41,389 sales.
Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. is quoted in the article as saying that the numbers are “disheartening,” but that they are also compared to an especially strong sales month in Dec. 2010.
Realtor Elaine Hoff of Wilmington-based told Patch that MLS research for Middlesex County shows that the average sales price of $464,753 is down 5.2 percent from the same time last year. However, the number of actual sales increased by 4.7 percent in this area.
“The numbers being what they are, I feel a change in the market just as we get to the end of January,” said Hoff. “The National Association of Realtors predicts 2012 will bring an upturn in the housing market and I am optimistic about what we are seeing here locally.”
Real estate agent Evan Walsh of , which is based in Welesley, said that while sales were down statewide for Dec. 2011, the Metrowest area has “endured a healthy recovery over the past 12-24 months.”
Walsh added, “Today's buyers, as a whole, are a bit more savvy and are hunting down what they perceive as being good deals.”
Walsh believes that homebuyers are looking for a town with a solid reputation, strong schools, nearby amenities and good commuting, things he believes can be found in this area.
“Typically, the more of these a town has, combined with a variety of homes available at different price points, real estate in those towns is strong,” he said.
Hoff related that election years, such as this one, can sometimes yield unpredictable results in real estate, but that she is remaining hopeful.
“Remember,” she said, “that prices going up, even a bit, is heading in the right direction.”
Wellesley in particular saw single-family home sales in Dec. 2011 drop 11.4 percent from the year before, but condo sales increased from one to two.
“Wellesley is a great town with great schools and good commuting, but it’s more expensive, meaning there is less variety in pricing and affordability,” Walsh said.