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Mass. home sales, prices jumped in August

Sales had best August since 2005, the Warren Group says

AP

Massachusetts single-family homes had their best sales for the month of August since 2005 as the median price of such a home rose 10.6 percent to $340,000 on a year-to-year comparison basis, the Warren Group reported Tuesday.

Previously, analysts have cited rising mortgage rates and rising rents as among the factors influencing the state’s housing market. That market is also coping with a shortage of homes for sale, analysts have said.

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In August, 5,925 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts, up nearly 14 percent from 5,204 homes sold in August 2012, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity and publishes Banker & Tradesman.

“Due to the seasonal nature of the real estate market, this is probably the last month this year we’ll see such high volume,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “The busy summer selling season is coming to an end, but probably the year-to-year comparisons will stay strong for a while longer. This is further evidence of a strong market, and another great recovery year in real estate. It will be interesting to see if the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep stimulating the economy will reverse the rise in interest rates and keep the real estate market rising.”

According to Warren Group data, August marked the 11th straight month of median price increases for Massachusetts single-family homes.

“I remain concerned with the steady price increases across the state,” Timothy Warren said. “However, it seems the high prices aren’t shutting buyers out of the market --- just yet. The market is benefitting from pent-up demand.”

In August, Bay State condominium sales statewide increased 2.5 percent, for a total of 2,512 condos sold, the Warren Group said, and the median condo price rose 14.7 percent in August to $319,950, up from $279,000 a year ago.

Separately, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors also issued a monthly report on the local housing market Tuesday. The association tracks a slightly narrower segment of the housing market.

“August closings indicated buyers might have been reacting to the ongoing concern of rising interest rates,” association president Kimberly Allard-Moccia said in a statement. “Buyer demand is steady, but folks are going to find it increasingly difficult to find a home if inventory doesn’t improve.”

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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