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Some much-needed good (or, at least, not bad) news for the housing bulls: according to the MLS, the median price of detached resale homes sold in July rose to $580,000, up a healthy 2.8 percent from the month prior.

July’s median condo price was up a less-impressive .3 percent on the month to $359,000.

The rest of the news is not so good. As I once discussed in an entirely-too-long article, the median price accurately measures how much the typical buyer is paying for a house. It’s quite a bit less useful for determining what that buyer is getting for the money. The median price per square foot actually dropped for both categories of housing, by 1.2 percent for detached homes and by .3 percent for condos.

This indicates that while purchase prices rose, the buyers were getting more house for the buck.

While median prices held up pretty well, sales volume was down substantially. Detached sales were down 14.5 percent from June while those for condos were down 16.7 percent.

This is quite a remarkable drop in what is typically a fairly strong month for sales.

Remember, there is a lot of noise in this data so it’s not a good idea to make too much of a single month’s numbers. This information is presented for entertainment purposes only.

I’ve started some charts to track month-to-month changes in these numbers. These charts are simply intended to give a visual on percent changes, so the sizes of the bars are much less important than the percent numbers on the left.

RICH TOSCANO

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