April 22, 2006

Analyzing March housing data before official release

Calendar of Bubble Events in Boston
Tuesday, April 25
MAR releases March 2006 housing stats

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors will release their “official” housing stats for March 2006 on Tuesday April 25. If there is interest, we can begin our own “unofficial” calculations now using housing data from a number of sources including the MLS and registry of deeds. If you have a question you'd like us to try to answer, please post it to the comments section below, email it to RECafe@mac.com, or leave a message on our reader line: 617-876-2117. Space is limited for the next bubble hour, so please email us if you would like to participate online or in person. Transcripts from the last two bubble hours are available by request.

10:03 AM in Bubble Hour | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 31, 2006

Consumers track the housing bubble: From Wikipedia to local "Bubble Hours"

Wikipedia_bubbleFollowing up on the recent post about The Real Estate Cafe's yet to be released "Menu of Wikis," here are two powerful examples of wiki collaboration documenting the real estate bubble in the US and worldwide:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_property_bubble

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_bubble

Don’t know who contributed to either wiki or how our bubble blog was included in the source list, but The Real Estate Cafe is most grateful.  Local residents know that making sense of contradictory statements about the housing market in Massachusetts is an ongoing challenge, which is why a number of leading bloggers in Boston are collaborating on an ongoing series of "Bubble Hours" (see posts for January & February 2006).  If you'd like to participate in the next Bubble Hour, online or in person, or would like to receive a transcript of past chats, please email us at RECafe@mac.com.  As always, your comments are welcome below or on our reader line at 617-876-2117.

06:34 PM in Bubble Hour, Market Trends, Sales falling, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

Inflation-adjusted price declines since Sept 2005 in MA

Yoy_bostonbubble_0206_1

BostonBubble.com has done an extraordinary analysis of single family home sales in Massachusetts that ought to be mandatory reading for any homebuyer making an offer this Spring.  Thanks for their permission to reprint the graph above and pull quotes below from their full post, "Boston Bubble Report: What's Really Going on in MA- Feb 2006":

"It turns out that Massachusetts real estate has seen year over year price declines every single month between September 2005 and February 2006 inclusive. While the Massachusetts Association of Realtors officially states that February 2006 was the first time in several years that there have been year over year declines, that is only true in nominal terms. Seasonally adjusted values have been declining for half a year now in real terms."

The MIT graduate behind BostonBubble.com is one of the bloggers who participates in our monthly Bubble Hour to review housing statistics as soon as they are released by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.  Please let us know if you would like to participate in those Bubble Hours, online or in-person by emailing RECafe@mac.com. In the meantime, your comments are welcome below or on the BostonBubble forum where you'll find another remarkable graph and more insights into why "real prices are down 11.44% from their peak. This is in contrast with the 9.48% that the MAR is reporting."

BostonBubble's analysis seems to confirm this pull quote from an article which appeared yesterday in the Lowell Sun:

Home salesboom now grows quiet
Prices also drop; experts  say buyer's market looms

Gus Faucher, director of macroeconomics at Moody's Economy.com, said he has been predicting for some time that the local market would come back to Earth. In the second quarter of 2005, Economy.com determined that the Middlesex County housing market was overpriced by 19 percent.   

03:32 PM in Bubble Hour, Falling prices, Market Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

Pay no attention to that 9.5% decline in median prices

Askingprices_globe1_3The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) released their official February housing statistics yesterday; and once again, a number of leading bubble bloggers in Boston hosted an online chat to make sense of the Realtor-speak.

Help me with this puzzler from MAR's housing report:

"Predictions of steep price declines in home values made this past fall remain largely unfounded. While the current median price is 9.5 percent below the record high monthly median of $375,000 set in July and August 2005, today’s prices largely reflect healthier inventory levels, which has eased upward pressure on prices, rather than plunging property values."

Median prices dropping nearly 10% in six months?  Sounds like a pretty steep decline to me, how about you?  As always, comments are welcome below, or on own blog readers line 617-876-2117 for possible use in a future podcast.

11:58 PM in Bubble Hour, Falling prices, Market Trends | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

Boston "Bubble Hour" to discuss February housing statistics

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) will announce their official February housing statistics tomorrow, Thursday March 23, 2006; and once again, a number of leading bubble bloggers in Boston invite you chat about them as soon as they are released and press coverage unfolds.

Would you believe the first "Bubble Hour" generated 36 pages of content including over a dozen graphs submitted by a number of bloggers and savvy consumers?   If you missed that chat, the transcript and graphs of January 2006 housing statistics are accessible online but comments or questions should be posted below. 

Better yet, why not participate in our second Bubble Hour(WILL REOPEN CHAT BETWEEN 9PM AND 10PM THIS EVENING.)  Please let us know if you'd prefer to chat online or meet offline by emailing RECafe@mac.com.  Either way, you can enrich the discussion by posting your question below, or submitting them privately beforehand.  Graphs are our specialty so let us know if there is any data you'd like to see presently visually.  As before, chat participants with different perspectives --- both geographically and with respect to their opinion about the housing bubble -- are earnestly sought.  Homebuyers, sellers, professionals, and press are all welcome.

We'd be particularly delighted if someone from MAR joined us to answer questions directly, too.  After (1) single family home sales fell to their lowest volume in ten years during January and (2) year-over-year prices fell for the first time in 115 months, my guess is that MAR will say that housing rebounded in February 2006.  More evidence of a "soft landing," industry spin, or a mild winter?  We want to hear your opinion.

09:23 PM in Bubble Hour, Falling prices, Market Trends | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 12, 2006

Regional round tables discuss housing bubbles online & off

This morning, we learned that one of the leading real estate blogs in the country, Curbed.com, has been hosting a series of monthly real estate round tables to discuss the state of the housing market in New York City.  The Real Estate Cafe and other leading bubble bloggers in Boston began a similar series of collaborative chats 12 days ago, and we were thrilled that our first "Bubble Hour" generated 36 pages of content including over a dozen graphs.  Please let us know if you'd like to participate in the next Bubble Hour, and whether you would prefer to participate in an online chat or a offline meeting by emailing RECafe@mac.com. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors will announce their official February housing report on March 23, 2006.

Until then, you can help shape the content of the next Bubble Hour by posting your question below, or recording a message on our blog reader line (617-876-2117) for future use in our real estate podcast. We're eager to add more content to our real estate bubble "audio time capsule." Field reports and market observations from home buyers and sellers in Greater Boston and across Massachusetts are most welcome.

11:05 AM in Bubble Hour, Market Trends | Permalink | Comments (0)