Lawrence home sales improve for 15th straight month

The hot streak continues in Lawrence’s real estate market. Home sales in Lawrence rose for the 15th month in a row, according to a new report that measured June home sales.

The Lawrence Board of Realtors found 149 units were sold in June, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to June 2012 totals.

The local numbers outperformed the national market. National home sales fell by 1 percent in June, according to published reports.

The strong June, which is typically the busiest month of the year for real estate agents, continues the rebound theme for 2013. Home sales year to date total 553, up 28 percent from the same period a year ago. The rebound is more dramatic when compared to 2011 numbers. Lawrence home sales are up nearly 46 percent compared to the same period in 2011.

But here’s another way to look at it. In this month’s report, the Board of Realtors provided sales volume numbers, or in other words, the total dollar amount for all homes sold in a particular time period. Through June, sales volumes were at $112.2 million, up 38 percent from the same period in 2012.

Through June of 2011, sales volumes were at $73.7 million. So, there has been an extra $38.5 million worth of home sales in Lawrence, compared to 2011. If you figure that the average sales commission on a home is 6 percent, that’s an additional $2.3 million in sales commissions that local agents and agencies have collected since 2011. I know I’ve certainly seen some real estate agents at jewelry stores, car dealerships, and other big-ticket retailers. (Granted, I’m usually just peeping through the windows of such places. I’ll leave it to you to ascertain who I’m usually trying to keep an eye on.) But the point is, the numbers are interesting because they provide a little bit of meat to the long-held notion that the real estate market is a major driver of the local economy.

Other numbers from the report include:

• Sales of newly constructed homes now total 51, up 50 percent from the same period a year ago.

• The median number of days a home sits on the market is now 49, down from 63 days a year ago.

• The median sale price is $168,900, a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago. The median sale price for newly-constructed homes is $299,900, an 18 percent increase from year-ago numbers.