S&P/Case-Shiller reported recently on October 28, 2014 that home prices for 10 and 20 cities they track had fallen off slightly from the prior month. Roughly prices had advanced nationwide some 5.6% but less than the prior month of 6.7%.

But the interesting news in their report is where we’ve come since the market collapse in 2005. S&P Case-Shiller indicates that home prices are now at the same level as just prior to the collapse in 2005. Their report for Boston has the top to trough at -20.1%. And now Boston is back to just -3.2% from the top of its market in 2005. A nine (9) year recovery.

Home sales in my markets of Plymouth and Cape Cod are a bit more than this figure at around -30%. But whose counting? We are close to being back where we were. So this is good news right? I mean interest rates have dipped below 4% again and now is a great time to refinance or buy. Are we in a recovery with home equity coming back month over month?

Home prices up

Locally what I see is a large demand for good housing, a bifurcated market where it’s hot from $200,000 to $400,000 and then over $1 million. The middle market seems to be waiting for those between the ages of 39-49 to get back enough equity to move up to their second home – they need more room for a growing family or just want a better home. Personally, the majority of my sales this year has come from this market. Crazy yes?

I also see a great many would be buyers and sellers reluctant to pull the trigger and make the decision to buy or put their home on market. It’s all about the economy, politics, perceptions and overall faith that we are truly out of the woods and moving forward again. The unemployment rate is shrinking or many workers are not being counted because their unemployment expired months ago and they are off the grid. Much just does not compute for the many, they have less trust and they are polarized.

The data point to some weakness to be certain. But the overall picture seems better just looking at the data. We’re back but not without reservations.

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