August property sales almost 20 percent higher than last year

August 2009 saw an almost 20 percent increase in local property sales than reported in August 2008, most likely fueled by the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, an economy in the midst of recovery after a two-year recession, and continuing low interest rates.

Total sales nearly reached the 500 level again, with 496 properties changing hands. The total included 382 homes and 114 condos. This compares to 329 homes and 86 condos sold in August 2008, for a 19.5 percent increase from last year at this time. The total was an expected drop from the July 2009 overall sales of 595, due to the traditional slower summer season. But the fact that sales did not dip as low as last year brought a sigh of relief from most local real estate brokers.

Most of the statistics continue to point to a market in the initial stages of recovery. Inventory levels continued to decline. There were 3,949 single family homes for sale at the end of August, compared to 4,067 for sale at the end of July, and down 11.8 percent from the 4,477 at the end of June. Condos experienced a similar decline, to 2,343, from 2,447 at the end of July and 2,587 at the end of June. Inventory remains at the lowest point in more than 5 years – a good sign for a market in recovery.

In August 2008, the inventory of unsold single family homes stood at 6,461 – roughly 63 percent higher than this year. For condos, there were 2,407 properties on the market in August 2008 – nearly the same as this year’s figure of 2,343.