The Housing Market is Away. Please Call Back Later.

I’m expecting a flood of these stories over the coming months, but at least in this first go-around the anecdotes about how difficult the housing market has become in some major urban areas are fresh and cautionary:

Massachusetts home sales in 2005 are running just 1.6 percent behind 2004’s record sales pace. The problem is there are more homes on the market: On Nov. 10, there were 25,656 houses for sale in Massachusetts, 39 percent more than the 18,498 on the market a year earlier, according to the MLS Property Information Network Inc. In Dorchester, Howe counted more than 300 condos for sale, almost double the spring inventory. Most of the increase is caused by sellers who want to sell their homes at peak price and refuse to settle for less, brokers say.

”It’s like someone turned off the faucet,” said Maria Salomao-Schmidt of Brick House Realty in Holliston. At open houses, ”if one person shows up, you’re excited.”


  1. people are dropping out of the “wait and see” game in the Bay Area too. i have been keeping my eye on a dozen or so moderately expensive ($1-$4 million range) properties just for the sake of measuring the market. all have been on sale for almost two years, often going off of the market and coming back in (a lame real estate tactic to show the house as a new listing), with some biting the bullet and dropping prices, some holding ground.
    buyers seem to clearly understand that a capitulation is in the offing. like any market, the mass expectation of a price drop will certainly deliver.