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April 17, 2024

Climbing prices, declining sales of Central Mass. homes largely continue in March

A street of recently constructed single-family homes Photo | Timothy Doyle Single-family homes in Millbury

Prospective home buyers in Central Massachusetts are still largely dealing with record high prices and limited inventory, as the average cost of a home purchase in Middlesex and Worcester counties is up around 10% in the last year. 

As of March, the number of year-to-date home sales in Worcester County were 1,022, a 4.3% decrease from that time period last year, according to stats released on Wednesday by The Warren Group, a Peabody-based real estate research firm. The year-to-date median sales price was $433,000, a 9.6% climb from last year’s figure of $390,000.

In Middlesex County, the year-to-date sales were 1,319, a slight increase from the figure of 1,300 seen last year. Year-to-date prices rose from $680,000 to $750,000, a 10.3% increase.

Overall, the state had seen 7,001 sales through March, a 2.8% decline from that time period in 2023. The year-to-date median sales price rose from $510,000 to $560,000, a 9.8% increase. The median sales price of $580,000 seen in the month was a new all-time high for March, according to the Warren Group. 

“Not surprisingly, Massachusetts median single-family home prices continued to set records in March,” Cassidy Norton, associate publisher and media relations director of The Warren Group, said in a press release accompanying the March data. “Despite the increase, we actually aren’t seeing the rapid, double-digit percent increases we were experiencing at the height of the [coronavirus] pandemic and the subsequent months. Despite this slowdown, limited inventory will probably continue to be the biggest barrier to homeownership in the coming months.”

The city of Worcester had seen 156 sales through March, a slight decline from the 162 sales seen at that point last year. Year-to-date prices rose from $365,000 to 394,500, an 8.1% increase.

Similar trends were seen in other prominent Worcester County communities.

Fitchburg had seen 55 sales through March, a 16.7% decrease from 66 sales seen during the same period last year. The year-to-date median sales price climbed from $310,000 to $350,000, a 9.5% increase.

Leominster had seen 36 sales so far in 2024, a 14.3% decline from last year’s figure of 42. The median sales price remained stable at $430,000.

In prominent Middlesex County cities, prices continue to climb, although some municipalities have seen the amount of total sales trend upward. Natick saw 47 sales compared to last year’s 26, as median prices rose from $730,000 to $850,000, an 16.4% increase. Framingham’s total amount of sales climbed from 53 to 68, as its median sales price rose 5.7%, from $615,000 to $650,000.

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