Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

November 28, 2008

Home Sales and Home Prices

by @ 5:35 pm. Filed under Archived, Real Estate

In Tuesday’s post I got a head start on our November 2008 to November 2007 comparison of recording statistics for key documents. With the real estate market so slow, the numbers haven’t changed significantly, so please take a look at that post if you’re interested in those figures.

Today I decided to investigate the uptick in the numbers of deeds recorded during these two periods. This month for property in the city of Lowell, we recorded 178 deeds. In November 2007, however, we recorded only 155 deeds for Lowell leading to the reasonable inference that property sales were increasing. Unfortunately, a closer scrutiny of these transactions reveals something different. Of the 155 deeds recorded in November 2007, forty percent of them (62) were for no consideration. These transactions typically involved transfers between family members or into trusts. This means that only 93 of the deeds recorded in November 2007 were for consideration close to the fair market value of the property. While the number of deeds recorded in November 2008 rose to 178, only 94 of them were for consideration close to the fair market value of the property. The remaining 84 were for no consideration. These figures suggest that the higher number of deeds recorded this November is not indicative of an increase in sales.

More bad news is evident when the sales prices of the deeds that were for full consideration are scrutinized. In November 2007, the median sales price for the 93 sales was $215,000. In November 2008, the median for that month’s 94 sales had dropped to $156,000. The distribution of prices in the two months corroborates this decline:

Last November

    7% of the sales were for less than $100,000;
    37% were between $100,000 and $199,999;
    42% were between $200,000 and $299,999;
    11% were between $300,000 and $399,999;
    3% were for more than $400,000

This November:

    17% of the sales were for less than $100,000;
    50% were between $100,000 and $199,999;
    25% were between $200,000 and $299,999;
    7% were between $300,000 and $399,999
    1% were for more than $400,000

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