The real estate market skips summer vacation

A sign of changing times? The August real estate market is usually a lot slower, but local realtors have been pleasantly surprised by their sales so far.

Traditionally, the home-buying market dries up as summer rolls on and, by August, there are tumbleweeds blowing over For Sale signs — metaphorically speaking, of course. That’s mostly due to many people, especially families, who are unwilling to forsake summer holidays for buying — or selling — a home. So, after a healthy rebound in sales this spring, are buyers taking a summer break?

“We do the downtown numbers every Friday,” says Kevin J. Ahearn, president of Otis & Ahearn. “What we’ve seen is that the momentum is holding, so what traditionally might be a lull doesn’t seem to be there. [Overall, there's] good momentum for us.”

Beth Dickerson of Sotheby’s Real Estate on Dartmouth Street agrees: “The summer market has continued to prove strong in the Boston area. Although inventory has slightly thinned out, I have personally experienced a continued momentum with many active buyers,” she says.

That could mean a tight situation is looming for people who took a summer break from home-hunting. Those resuming their search in September could face a dearth of choice, particularly in the popular parts of Cambridge and downtown Boston where inventory is low.

“Pending deals are very strong, adding further evidence to us that the positive housing trends of late, plus low interest rates, [are] creating very good activity,” Ahearn says. “The downtown market has remained steady despite the downturn and so inventory is always tight. Despite a glut of homes in other areas, after a big rebound this spring, properties cleared out.”

What about the ’burbs?  

Is there a summer slowdown in surrounding towns? “Overall the number of properties that have gone under agreement are up 10 percent from August last year,” says Paul Mydelski of RE/MAX Leading Edge, which has offices in Arlington, Winchester, Newton, Waltham and Watertown. “Pricing is on the increase as well, averaging an increase from 5 to 10 percent. With interest rates still historically low and consumer confidence on the rise, the Greater Boston summer real estate market has been an active one.”


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…


2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch


2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.


2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced


Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.