A jump in the stock market and the deadline for the homebuyers’ tax credit propelled statewide real estate sales this spring, according to brokers and analysts.
In March, sales of single-family homes were up almost 28 percent over March 2009, and sales of condos rose 33 percent. Overall, in the first quarter of 2010 there was a 17.5 percent increase in sales over 2009, marking the first increase in first-quarter home sales since 2004, according to the Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.
“The numbers look good. Part of the reason was the mad rush to meet the tax credit deadline,” says John Ford of Ford Realty. “Another major factor was the uptick in the stock market where investors recouped their losses and now are taking part of their gains to purchase real estate.”
According to Ford, who primarily sells in downtown Boston, people are more comfortable with the state of the economy and believe real estate is a good investment again.
Torry Stamm, 28, recently sold her Brookline condo after only 30 days on the market and bought a home in Needham.
“When we saw a house that we loved, we immediately put in an offer that was accepted,” says Stamm. “We also had to sell our condo, and took a chance buying a house before we sold it. However the condo sold in a month. As buyers and sellers, we were confident that the market was bouncing back and clearly we weren’t the only ones.”
Prices have also jumped in recent months, with the median price for single-family homes climbing in March to $275,000 from $255,000 in 2009. The median price for condos sold in March was $249,000, up 8.6 percent from $229,250 in March 2009.