Realty Check

Housing Price Drops: New England Is NOT Home, Sweet Home

Massachusetts home

Tomorrow the folks at S&P/Case Shiller will report the monthly prices in the nation’s top ten and top twenty metro markets.

Every time I report these numbers I get any number of critics arguing that the fall in home prices is really concentrated in only a few large cities in the nation, most of them in California and Florida.

Well here’s some data I don’t usually report. There’s a company called The Warren Group, which tracks home sales and prices in New England. Today they sent me the March figures on Massachusetts. Headline:

Home Prices in March See Biggest Drop Since
Lowest Point of Early-90s Housing Crisis;
Quarterly Home Sales in Mass. Reach 17-Year Low,
According to The Warren Group

The median price of a home in Massachusetts, and I’m not just talking about Boston, fell more than 10 percent in March from a year ago. “The last time prices declined by more than 10 percent was in December 1990, the nadir of the early-1990s housing crisis,” says the report. That downturn was fueled by the banking failures in the 1980s, but this time the finger is pointed squarely at foreclosures.

The foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts is not letting up. In the first quarter of this year alone, even with all the programs supposedly fending off foreclosures, 9,000 Bay Staters were in danger of foreclosure.

Questions?  Comments?