Recent statistics released by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley indicate a 8.9% increase in home sales in the region but a 3.5% drop in sale price last month. In Hampden County, home sales rose 14.2% in a year, from August 2011 to August 2012. Throughout the State, a similar trend is being observed. A recent report by the Warren Group found that single family home and condominium sales in Massachusetts rose 20% and 40% respectively over August. This is the seventh straight month that these housing types have shown an increase in sales, alluding to a recovering housing market in the State. Also discovered by the report, was a drop in median sale price of both homes and condos. According to the report, this news is similar to past housing recoveries where sales volume has shown an increase before prices. Lower prices may lure more buyers into the market giving prices a surge in the near future.
The City Office of Community Development and Office of Planning & Economic Development held a public hearing on September 20, to discuss the creation of a local plan to allow developers to take advantage of the State’s new market-rate housing incentive. The incentive, called the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), is only available for Gateway Cities in the Commonwealth and attempts to draw market rate units back to these downtowns to stabilize neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. Holyoke’s proposed plan, named the Center City Housing Incentive Program (CCHIP), establishes an implementation strategy to balance the existing types of housing with the addition of market rate units through the adaptive reuse of existing buildings to create an overall increase in the number of housing units and choices in the Center City. Applicants could potentially receive a local incremental property tax abatement and state tax credit for an approved project.Share