With buyers enticed by plummeting home prices, communities around Plymouth County saw a spike in single-family sales last month. But the upward trend most likely won’t last, according to one expert.
With buyers enticed by plummeting prices, single-family home sales surged in Plymouth County in October, new figures show.
One expert predicted the upswing won’t last, saying the sales were mostly finalized before the Wall Street meltdown in September.
But local real estate brokers welcomed the positive news at a time when the nation’s economy continues to stagger.
Sales in Plymouth County rose 25 percent last month from October 2007, according to the Warren Group, a Boston real-estate data firm.
The county’s resurgence after months of sluggish sales was led by Brockton, which saw a 61 percent jump in sales of single-family homes.
Sales were also up in Easton, Whitman, Holbrook, Wareham and other communities.
“Overall, the prices have been lowered, and people are buying,” said Michael Haikal, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Easton. “We’re busy.”
At William M. Callahan Real Estate in Brockton, “the phones are ringing, and that’s a good thing,” said owner William Callahan.
He also cited falling prices as the key. In Plymouth County, the median sales price for a single-family home was $295,000 last month, down 10 percent from October 2007, according to the Warren Group.
Statewide, single-family home sales were up nearly 14 percent last month compared to October 2007, the Warren Group found.
But the upward trend most likely won’t last, according to Vincent M. Valvo, group publisher of the Warren Group’s data and print publications.
Valvo said the sales were recorded in October, but were mostly finalized over the summer, before the Wall Street meltdown in September.
The sales increase “is not an ongoing trend,” he said. “Wall Street wiped it out.”
Many people fear for their jobs and others are generally worried about making any type of investment right now, Valvo said. He expects home sales figures will drop in coming months and remain down until the economy shows more stability.
“Until there’s some sustained confidence in the financial markets and the overall economy, the only people that are going to buy are the people who absolutely have to buy,” he said, adding that he believes home prices will continue to drop.
In another sign of economic weakness, other parts of southeastern Massachusetts didn’t enjoy rising sales last month.
Bristol County sales were down last month by 15 percent, while sales were down 13 percent in Norfolk County.
But the lower prices are driving some new buying in Bristol County towns such as Raynham, said Joanne Berube, a real estate agent with Premier Properties.
Raynham never had homes for less than $300,000 in the past, but now — with many foreclosed and short-sale homes on the market — some are selling for less than $200,000, Berube said.
“People are getting great deals,” she said.
The drop in prices from October 2007 was also more severe in Bristol County than in Plymouth County:
In Bristol County, the median sales price for a single-family home was down 16 percent to $247,500 last month, compared to a year ago. In Norfolk County, the price was down 10 percent to $355,000, the same as Plymouth County.
Kyle Alspach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.