As further evidence of a recovering real estate market, the number of single family homes sold in Massachusetts in January was at its highest level in more than five years. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports the number of homes sold last month jumped almost 14% when compared to January 2012. The Warren Group, which reported a more modest 10% increase in sales, also says the median price for single family homes jumped nearly 7% last month. Similar numbers for Connecticut are not yet available. But Group CEO Tim Warren says, like the Baystate, home sales in Connecticut have been on the rise after a seven year slump, jumping by more than 15% in 2012. There’s been speculation the ongoing fiscal uncertainty in Washington could slow the momentum. But Warren says he finds it difficult to imagine any circumstances, short of a war with Iran or a cyber-attack on the country’s financial infrastructure, that would derail the market.
“A recession caused by Congress’ failure to agree on spending cuts might set us back, but that would probably take some months to materialize.”
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors says Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to tax the equity on the sale of a home as part of his 2014 Budget could also hurt the ongoing housing recovery. Current state law allows a tax-free profit of up to $500,000 on home sales, depending on an individual’s tax filing status.