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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 [email protected].  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


I don't see the official data on the MAR website yet, but Inman News apparently has it already and offers up some tidbits:


Here's my summary of the article (from my RSS feed):

February 2006 MAR data is in. Sales fell for 5th consecutive month and were 1.7% below February 2005. Inventory is up from a year ago by 40.5%. Nominal year over year prices fell for 2nd month in a row.

Posted by: bostonbubble | Mar 23, 2006 3:30:16 PM

It seems that people are buying properties at a pretty constant rate. What is outpacing the buying rate is the buildup of inventory. Who knows what this will do to prices. My feeling is that buyers can be more selective. My guess is not everyone who is selling has to sell, they might be sellers that are just hopeful to trade up or downsize. The ones that need to sell may have to drop their price to stand out. I think the straddle from selling ones house and purchasing another is a bit more risky as days on the market grows. I read a realtor's update that said that seller's "opening move" is to price high and see who bites. If the market corrects as many economists predict, it can wipe out five years to a decade of savings for buyers who buy high or sellers who wait too long to sell. With inventory building up like this, buyers will most likely be patient because their dollar will buy more if this 5 month trend continues. I'd like to know when the last time this early in the season we've seen this many price drops. Didn't price drops occur in late summer; we're seeing significan price drops this early in the season. For a seller who has gotten an 85%+/- increase in their house in the past few five years, you haven't earned that money; if you think you deserve it and hold out for it, you may never realize it. It were the greedy ones who got slaughtered in the stock market bubble.

Posted by: john p | Mar 23, 2006 5:00:50 PM

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