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March 26, 2014

Single-family home sales down; condo sales, prices up in February

Courtesy of The Warren Group

Low housing inventory caused prices to climb as single-family home sales dropped in February, marking the third time sales declined in the last four months, The Warren Group reported.

Sales decreased to 2,078 in February, down from 2,166 in February 2013. But for the year, sales were up about 1 percent to 4,806, from 4,765 a year earlier.

“The modest drop in sales was caused by the same lack of inventory that has plagued the market for months,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “These February sales numbers represent closings on homes that went under agreement in December, for the most part. Cold weather and holidays are certainly factors in making February traditionally the slowest month of the year.”

The median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts climbed to $285,500 in February, a 2-percent increase from the median price of $280,000 in February 2013. The year-to-date median price jumped 7.1 percent to $300,000, compared to $280,000 a year earlier. Median prices have increased every month since September 2012, according to The Warren Group.

Meanwhile, condo sales were on the rise in February, marking the eighth consecutive month of gains. The Warren Group reported 947 condo units were sold, compared to 889 in February 2013, a 6.5-percent increase. Likewise, the median condo price increased to $281,000, compared to $250,000 a year earlier.

Year-to-date, the median condo price increased 18.4 percent to $290,000, compared to $245,000 in 2013.

“The 18.4-percent increase in condo median prices so far this year is an indicator that condominiums are increasingly popular and we have a strong mix of luxury condos in the sales totals. Empty-nesters are ready for a change in lifestyle and have the net worth to take the plunge,” Warren said.

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