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Condos are ‘the strongest part’ of the May housing market, the Warren Group says

Photo taken from the Warren Group press release

Timothy M. Warren Jr.

Massachusetts single-family home sales fell by 7 percent in May on a year-to-year comparison basis, and condos are now the strongest segment of the local housing market, the Warren Group reported Tuesday.

“Condominiums are the strongest part of the market these days,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “The current median price of $320,000 is the highest of any month in history.”

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In recent months, the trend in the local market has been that a shortage of homes on the market continued to depress sales volumes and push up prices.

A total of 4,482 single-family homes were sold in May compared with 4,820 in May 2013, said the Warren Group, a Boston-based firm that tracks local real estate activity.

The median sales price of Massachusetts single-family homes rose by 4.7 percent in May to $340,000 versus $324,600 for May of last year.

There were 2,146 Bay State condo sales in May 2014 versus 2,015 in May 2013. May marked the 11th consecutive month condo sales have increased on a year-over-year basis, the Warren Group said.

Local May condo prices rose 8.47 percent from the May 2013 median of $295,000.

“Single-family sales volume is still slipping,” Timothy Warren said in his statement. “Most of these May closings went under agreement in March at the start of the spring selling season, and we’ll see sales reach their peak in July. Low inventory and lingering winter weather in March may have depressed the number of sales, but the rising median price tells me that the market is recovering nicely.”

Separately, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors issued a monthly report of its own on the local housing market.

In a statement, association president Peter Ruffini said: “Shrinking inventory and growing prices describes the market in May. Qualified buyers are taking advantage of the still-low interest rates to buy the limited supply of homes available and are pushing prices up.”

One finding of the association’s report: While inventory continued to be down, pockets across the state are seeing inventory stabilizing or even going up.

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