Friday, January 25, 2013

Median price increase

The "Bucks" blog on the New York Times website has a post today reporting that housing prices appreciated 6% during 2012 which is a rate of increase more like one that occurs during a robust period of rising prices as opposed to the slow recovery we seem to be experiencing now.  Curious about what was going on in this region, I used a simple software program we have to calculate the median price of deeds recorded during the past several years.  I framed the search to include all deeds with consideration of greater than $75,000 but less than $1.5 million.  Here's what I found:

In 2008, there were 3407 deeds with a median price of $255,000;

In 2009, there were 3418 deeds with a median price of $250,000;

In 2010, there were 3276 deeds with a median price of $256,500;

In 2011, there were 3113 deeds with a median price of $251,500;

In 2012, there were 3722 deeds with a median price of $260,000.

The median price increase from 2011 to 2012 was 3.5%


kad barma said...

These numbers "feel" more or less even for the past five years--they're only +/- 2% around the $255,000 mark, so tough to extrapolate a trend. Transaction frequency accelerates in down markets as well--it's more a measure of volatility than it is "bull" or "bear". (Though I would agree, over time, our asset prices of all kinds are inexorably moving up and not down, so more often volatile markets will be rising, not falling).

There's also a post floating around in my Google Reader view entitled "Big Jump in Foreclosures" that doesn't seem to be accessible to me via the blog directly. Not sure if that's a technical glitch or you intended to delete it. Either way, I'll add that my perception of a lot of current foreclosure activity is based on the ponderous backlog of failed mortgages, and the related real estate, that have been abandoned to the bank, but not properly accounted for on their books. The penalty to the bank for foreclosing and "coming clean" on the full depth of the problem is that they would possibly (likely?) fall beneath regulatory capitalization threshholds if the true extent of the problem were known, and they are reluctant to suffer the penalties for it. So they keep the dead properties in limbo rather than foreclose. Eventually, they all need to be sold because it's tremendously expensive to continue to be on the hook for the condo fees and taxes, so they dribble and drab them out as they can afford. (It's a testimony to the magnitude of the capitalization crisis that the banks would rather pay thousands in fees and taxes rather than liquidate).

Right now the downtown Lowell condo market is littered with dead properties like this, with utilities shut off and no attempts to foreclose on them. They'll all eventually flush through the system. But, for now, that portion of the iceberg remains invisible. But it's coming.

Dick said...

I'm not sure why but several recent posts were sitting in the queue in "draft" so I just published them all. The one on increasing numbers of foreclosures is there.