, Salem, MA


November 14, 2012

Moving on up

Brisk sales, stable prices means realistic home market


The Massachusetts Association of Realtors said late last month that September home sales, the latest figures available, were up for the 15th straight month, compared with the same month last year. Condominium sales also rose in September.

Year-to-date, home sales through September are up on the North Shore compared with the same period last year, according to The Warren Group. The sales figures also show modest declines in price compared with last year.

Realtors also reported a 21 percent drop in inventory statewide, with 7.3 months of supply in September, compared with 10.8 months of supply in September 2011.

Stable or declining prices, fewer homes to sell, low interest rates, and homes that are priced right may be fueling this uptick up in sales. With President Barack Obama winning a second term last week, high-end buyers also face the possible expiration of a capital gains tax cut and an increase in capital gains for those who are wealthy, Tache said. Economic uncertainty was a factor in the Garabedians’ decision to make the leap early.

“Not knowing where the economy would go one way or the other depending upon the presidential election, we said this was a good time,” Garabedian said. “Maybe better now than a year from now.”

“We are in a normal market,” said Paul Rallo, a broker with Keller Williams in Beverly. “People forget what a normal market was.”

With sellers’ expectations of what they can get for their homes more realistic and buyers doing their homework, homes are selling quickly.

“People are starting to pay attention, and if you price it right, it will sell,” Rallo said.

In May, Rallo put a home under agreement at 19 Wadsworth St. in Danvers, a residential street off Hobart Street, in just five days. The asking price was $269,900, and the agreed-upon price was $264,000.

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