2011 was another good year for Single Family home sales in Arlington, MA where home sales in general outpaced the previous YTD sales as of December 31, 2011. Arlington remains steadfast in the ever-changing housing market.
After reviewing the year end numbers, there is one clear message, Single Family home sales are outpacing condos and multifamily sales. Total number of homes sold has decreased from 2010, approximately down 5%. That said the, median and average sales prices have increased, upwards of 4%, offsetting the total home sales. Multi-Family and Condo markets experienced drops this past year, after a large increase in 2010 believed to be spurred on by the first time home buyer tax incentives from Spring 2010. The incentive allowed many renters on the verge of buying to take the plunge into home ownership. This past year could be considered a market correction.
The Housing Market
The lower than average jobless rate in the Boston area and the impact of low interest rates continue to drive growth in this marketplace. Other housing markets, Western Massachusetts & beyond are facing upside-down mortgages and a higher rate of bank owned properties. In a recent article from Bloomberg, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made comments about the weakness of the housing market and the importance of its recovery to bettering the overall economic recovery. In the article he intimates the need for protection from foreclosure, more opportunity for home buyers and addresses the surplus of foreclosed properties.
In recent years market prices were effected by the sale of foreclosed and short sale properties. Fortunately in the Boston housing market, there was very little impact. According to an article by the National Association of Realtors® in March 2009, 49% of total market sales in the US were foreclosures and short sales, however as of October 2011 the numbers decreased to 28%.
Arlington remains a desirable community for home buyers with its diverse housing inventory, schools, parks, access to public transportation and the proximity to Boston and the 128 belt. As a result the Arlington real estate market is vibrant while other markets remain stagnant.