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Boston Foreclosure Auctions Surged but Prices Held Up

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Boston foreclosure auctions surged with more properties in March, but home prices held up, and home sales also stepped up.

The 1,389 foreclosure deeds in March and the increase rate of more than 51 percent were not enough to push down house prices in the area. Instead, the median price for homes in Boston spiked up in March by almost 13 percent to $315,000, compared to the median in March last year.

All in all, based on data from the housing report of Associated Press and Re/Max, house prices in the Northeast region where Boston is located, the sales price median for existing homes sold in March was $249,800, marking a nine-percent rise from the median in March 2009.

The significant increases in home prices over the past months in Greater Boston lowered the housing affordability level of the area. One study even counted Greater Boston as one of the five most expensive housing markets in Massachusetts and among metro areas belonging to the top 25 percent in the country based on home price levels.

As the increased pace of Boston foreclosure auctions failed to dampen the jump in home prices, Greater Boston posted a housing affordability ranking of 405th in a chart of 451 large metro areas in the country, making Greater Boston among the least affordable home markets in the U.S.

With a median family income of $70,344 and a median house value of $395,300, the Boston area, which includes Quincy and Cambridge, was next only to Barnstable in a list of the most expensive metropolitan areas in Massachusetts. In Barnstable, the median family income was $60,452 and the median house value was $408,100.

Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester were more affordable than Barnstable and Boston as they ranked 342nd, 352nd and 365th, respectively in the housing affordability list.

Meanwhile, postings for home auctions in Massachusetts rose in March to 2,903, more than twice the 1,131 auction postings in March 2009, based on data released by Warren Group. In the first quarter, overall foreclosed home auction announcements reached 8,062, marking a stunning 140-percent jump from the 3,362 auction postings in March 2009.

Total home sales also soared as more housing units were posted for Boston foreclosure auctions. In March, total home sales shot up by 31 percent in Boston. Statewide, total sales of detached single family properties soared by 28 percent to 3,162 units compared to sales in March last year.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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