Business & Tech

Another month of higher prices, and fewer homes for sale

The cost of buying a house in Massachusetts got even higher last month.
John Bazemore/Associated Press/File 2015
The cost of buying a house in Massachusetts got even higher last month.

The cost of buying a house in Massachusetts got even higher last month, while the number of homes for sale fell to its lowest level since 2004, according to new figures released Thursday.

The frustrating market trend has firmly placed the state in the middle of a housing crunch that won’t let up anytime soon, said Paul Yorkis, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

“Everyone is indicating that inventory is continuing to decline,” said Yorkis, who also operates Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “I don’t see this changing for the next two or three years.”

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Although the real estate market is entering what would typically be its slow season because of cooler weather, Yorkis said he does not anticipate any slowing of house-hunting activity “because there is no inventory; people are looking all the time.”

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In August, the median price for a single-family home rose 5.1 percent compared with the same month in 2016, to $398,125, according to the latest figures from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. The median price for condominiums remained unchanged at $345,000.

But there weren’t a lot of properties to choose from — August marked the lowest number of homes and condos for sale in that month since the group started collecting that data 13 years ago. Inventory of single-family homes was down 27.2 percent from last August, while condo inventory fell 2.2 percent.

For those people who are putting their homes up for sale, the market has been exceedingly favorable. On average, single-family homes and condos for sale last month spent 22 fewer days on the market than they did in August 2016.

“Something could come on the market and it goes off the market that quickly,” Yorkis said, who added that multiple offers continue to be commonplace. “That’s where we’re seeing a real crisis because first-time home buyers are being shut out of the market.”

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.