Theft of copper pipe from vacant homes hurting neighborhood values
WALTHAM, Mass. – September 27, 2011 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that August sales were up for the second straight month compared to the year before as median prices were down for the third straight month. Condominium sales were also up for the second straight month on a year-over-year basis as median prices dipped after four straight months of increases.
“August was definitely a good month in terms of sales activity as buyers took advantage of low interest rates and more affordable pricing to purchase a home,” said 2011 MAR President Laurie Cadigan, broker-owner of Barrett & Company in Concord. “As long as these market conditions are present and confidence in the economy continues to grow, we’ll be able to look back at the fall home buying season positively.”
August 2011 Housing Numbers Podcast with
MAR President Laurie Cadigan
There were *4,172 detached single-family homes sold this August, a 17.59 percent increase from the 3,548 homes sold the same time last year. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were up 5.78 percent from 3,944 homes sold this past July.
The median selling price for single-family homes in August was $315,000 a drop of 4.0 percent compared to $328,000 in August 2010. On a month-to-month basis, the August median selling price experienced no change from this past July.
The August condominium market was up 11.64 percent compared to the same time last year (from 1,452 units sold in 2010 to 1,621 units sold in 2011). On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were up 8.72 percent compared to the 1,491 units sold this past July.
Condominium median selling prices in August were down 4.0 percent from the August 2010 median price (from $300,000 to $288,000 in 2011). On a month-to-month basis, the median selling price of a condominium was up a little over one percent from a July median of $285,000.
Copper Pipe Theft:
REALTORS® continue to be alarmed by ongoing problem of copper pipe theft from vacant homes and its impact on the Massachusetts housing market. Once thieves strip copper pipes and other metals from a vacant home, conventional financing is more difficult to obtain and the sale price could plummet. As a result, the values of homes in that neighborhood also tend to suffer.
“This is another unfortunate consequence of the down economy and the high number of vacant foreclosed homes across the state,” said Cadigan. “As an association, we have called on our members to contact their state senators and representatives to pass Senate bill S. 145 ‘An Act Regulating Secondary Metals Dealing’, so we can cut down on metal thefts that hurt home sales and values.”
An Act Regulating Secondary Metals Dealing would create a second-hand metal dealer registry and an abandoned property registry to give tools to law enforcement to fight scrap metal theft. It would also require personal information from sellers of scrap metal, including a signed statement, photocopy of their ID, and photo and record of the weight of the metal item received if it’s valued over $250.
Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of August 31, 2011 decreased 5.3 percent from August 2010 (34,893 listings in 2010 to 33,051 listings in 2011) which translates into 10.4 months of supply in August 2011. This is up from 9.8 months of supply last year and down from 11.0 months in July.
The inventory of condominiums on the market in July went down 19.7 percent compared to the year before (13,309 listings in 2010 to 10,685 listings in 2011), which translates into 8.6 months of supply, which is down from 9.0 months in July 2010 and down from 9.7 months in July.
Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 106 days in August 2011 compared to an average of 95 days in August 2010. Condos stayed on the market an average of 105 days in August 2011 compared to an average of 100 days in August 2010. On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were up from 99 days in July, while condos were up from 101 days.
About the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®:
Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade organization with more than 19,000 members. The term REALTOR® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of REALTORS® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.
*Please note: As of July 2011, all 2010 and 2011 housing data has been updated to reflect new collection methods from the three REALTOR® affiliated Multiple Listing Services in Massachusetts via 10K Research and Marketing.
Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.