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.”


Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.


Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.


Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…


Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.


Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).


Piano from 'Casablanca' up for sale at auction

An iconic piano featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 Hollywood classic "Casablanca" is expected to be the highlight of a sale of film…


Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.


Interview: Michael Douglas likes playing jerks, like in…

"And So It Goes" star Michael Douglas talks about being shocked that he never does period movies and opens up about Edgar Wright leaving "Ant-Man."


'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.


Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report


Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.


Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.


RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."


Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…


Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.


Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.