WESTFORD — Single-family home sales in the Merrimack Valley last year reached their highest total since 2005, according to the Northeast Association of Realtors.
Single-family home sales totaled 3,207 last year in a 15-community region along I-495 from Bradford to Littleton, according to the Realtors group. That’s 23.3 percent higher than the 2,600 sold in 2011, and the most since 3,771 were sold in 2005.
The median price for a single-family home sold in the region last year was $309,900, up 3.3 percent from the 2011 median of $299,900. The 2011 figure is the only time since 2001 that the median home-sale price sank below $300,000.
Realtors say a key issue today is lack of inventory — only 904 single-family homes were available for sale in the region as of Jan. 15, according to NEAR.
“We are hearing that many sellers are waiting for the spring market to offer their properties for sale, but the buyers are out there looking now,” NEAR President Christopher Doherty said in a statement. “Our 1,200-plus Realtor members are very busy right now.”
Condominium sales totaled 1,172 in 2012, up 21.6 percent from the 964 sold in 2011 and the most in any year since 2007. Last year’s median condo price was $170,000, down 2.9 percent from the 2011 median of $175,000.
There were 490 multifamily homes sold last year, up from 486 in 2001. The median price for a multifamily home sold last year was $217,750, up 18.3 percent from the 2011 median of $184,000.
I had been house hunting for over 9 months. This was my 5th time buying a house, and 2nd time having a new home built so I have been through this process before. I had looked at a lot of properties, and in this market Pingry Hill is where you get a bang for your buck. Janice and Rick are both joys to work with. I never felt like they were just trying to make a sale. They were flexible, accommodating, very patient, and willing to give and take. Any issues are always resolved quickly. I strongly recommend coming by for a look/see. Pingry Hill is going to be a great neighborhood. ~ Joe
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Now finally the market may be granting their wish. With the uptick in home prices, they feel ready to put their two bedroom Waltham condo on the market. John says, “Before I was nervous about putting it on the market; now I am more confident.”
John bought it five years ago at the height of the market, and renovated the kitchen and bathroom. Finally he feels he can get his investment back. “It’s a huge relief because I was worried we’d be upside down, and so if we put it on the market and were upside down, we would have to owe money at the closing, so it’s a big relief.”
Realtors say after months of stabilization, they are starting to see home prices rise. Former President of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors Gary Rogers says there is a lot of pent up demand, explaining, “There isn’t quite enough inventory yet. And because of it we’re seeing well priced homes and condos selling in a week to two weeks, which is a lot shorter than it has been.”
With prices up and interest rates still low, the Kasperzyk’s are hoping more families will feel the time is right to sell. John says, “We’re hoping inventory will catch up and we’ll have a lot to choose from and find the home we’ll both fall in love with.”
A spokesperson for the Mass Association of Realtors says while the indicators are promising, we are still on the road to recovery, and it will be several months before we know where we truly stand.