Long winter does not deter local home buyers

WESTFIELD — Sales of single-family homes fell by nearly 6 percent last month when compared to the same month a year ago, but median prices jumped by more than 7 percent.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that he median selling price for single-family home in February was $294,950, up from $275,000 in February 2013.
February was the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
Home sales were down 25 percent from January, which is typical.
The Waltham-based association says the numbers were driven by high interest from buyers but a low number of homes on the market.
Association president Peter Ruffini says while winter weather hasn’t deterred buyers, “the lack of homes for sale over the past several months resulted
in a drop in closed sales in February.”
“In February 2014, there were 16 homes that closed in Westfield with an average sale price of $188,847,” said Ted Cassell, broker at Park Square Realty. “The average days on market was 114 days and the sales price to list price ratio was 96 percent.”
“In February 2013, there were 21 properties that closed in Westfield with an average sale price of $178,762,” Cassell said. “The average days on market was 185 days and the sales price to list price ratio was 95 percent.”
“So I would agree that our local stats are in line with the statewide stats,” he said. “Over the past month we are continuing to see more homes coming on the market as we approach the spring market and buyers are out looking and buying. As of right now, there are 209 active properties for sale in Westfield and currently 54 properties that are pending and awaiting closing.”
“We are anticipating a busy 2014 and once the weather finally breaks and we see some warmer weather, then we will see many more property owners list their property for sale,” he said. “I do believe the weather has held people back from listing this winter. Westfield has a very diverse housing market and is also a very desirable market which is why it is one of the most active markets in western Mass.”
When comparing statistics for single family homes in Westfield from the beginning of January to the end of February over the same time frame last year, we are seeing a slight increase in the number of units sold with a 5.5-6 percent increase in the average sale price, according to the MLS Property Information Network,” said Heather Witalisz Siegel, Managing Partner at Witalisz and Associates. “Average time on market for this time frame is about 120 days.”
“At present, there is a healthy amount of buyer activity amongst reasonably priced homes, particularly as we enter the spring market,” she said. “That being said, real estate is local. So, it is very important to analyze market data specific to your location.”

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