From the Boston Herald:
Bay State house prices are falling on an annualized basis for the first time in a decade as Massachusetts housing continues to cool – bucking a national uptrend.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported yesterday that median house-sale prices dropped to $339,450 last month, down 0.2 percent from February 2005.
The decline marks the first time since June 1996 that prices have fallen for any 12-month period as a whole.
“The days of bidding wars and double-digit price appreciation are over,” MAR President David Wluka said.
While median prices have fallen from one month to the next since peaking at $375,000 in August, experts view annualized declines as more statistically significant.
MAR also said the volume of Bay State houses sold last month fell 1.7 percent from February 2005 levels. That’s the fifth straight monthly decline – the market’s longest losing streak since 2003.
Significantly, Bay State activity cooled even as total U.S. house sales rose.
The Boston Herald left out the most interesting part of the MAR report.
Predictions of steep price declines in home values made this past fall remain largely unfounded. While the current median price is 9.5 percent below the record high monthly median of $375,000 set in July and August 2005, today’s prices largely reflect healthier inventory levels, which has eased upward pressure on prices, rather than plunging property values.”