Single-family home sales in Massachusetts during July exceeded pre-recession housing boom levels amid a 10-month climb in home prices, according to The Warren Group. The 5,941 sales last month were the largest volume in a month since June 2006, when there were 6,152 sales, and the “best July” since 2005 when there were 6,672 sales, according to the real estate and finance publishing company. "Many recent real estate reports have signaled a strong real estate recovery, and our numbers speak to that rebound," said The Warren Group Editorial Director David Harris, in a statement.
Single-family home sales volume was up 18 percent from last year
"While consumer confidence and strong employment numbers continue to bolster the market, there's concern that higher mortgage rates and increasing home prices could dampen the revitalized market." Others have expressed concern for the state economy, as the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in July. Home prices have also been on an upward swing, with the median single-family home price at $349,000 last month, 10 percent higher than last July and the tenth consecutive month of median price increases.
The July 2013 single-family home sales volume was up 18 percent from the 5,014 sales in July 2012. Condominium sales also rose in price and volume over last year. July 2013 condo prices stood at $310,000 a 5 percent increase from July 2012, and the number of sales was up nearly 17 percent, rising to 2,336 for the month.
About 200 Boston-area fast food industry workers are walking off their jobs Thursday or not showing up for work, part of a broader national effort to push for higher wages that workers say will enable them to move off public assistance programs and provide for their families. In Boston, fast-food workers are striking at Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Popeye’s and Dunkin Donuts in the neighborhoods of Copley, Dorchester, Roslindale and downtown Boston.
According to strike organizers, there are 4.1 million workers employed nationwide in the fast food industry and the median wage is $8.94 an hour. “Low-wage work has accounted for the bulk of new jobs added since the recession,” Melonie Griffiths, an organizing director for Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, said in a statement. “There is a common misconception that most fast-food workers are teenagers. The average fast-food worker is an adult, often with a family that they need to support.”
Support in Senate for raising the state’s minimum wage from $8 to $11 an hour
The strike and efforts to boost wages are being assisted by the Service Employees International Union and follow strikes in New York and seven other cities over the spring and summer. According to strike organizers, the median age in the fast-food industry is older than 28 and more than a quarter of fast-food workers are raising at least one child. Senate President Therese Murray told the News Service Wednesday that addressing a “living wage” is one of the top items on her fall to-do list.
There is significant support in the Senate for raising the state’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 an hour. Fast-food workers who walked out Thursday are pressing for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.