July home sales up sharply; median price also climbs
Massachusetts single-family home sales last month rose at their swiftest pace in 10 years, rising 24.3 percent from the same period last year, according to the Warren Group.
The real estate group reported 7,077 completed home sales in July, compared with 5,693 in July 2014, while the median sale price rose from $355,000 to $359,900. Condo sales rose 20 percent, the biggest year-to-year jump since 2007, the Warren Group said.
Cassidy Murphy, the editorial director of the Warren Group, attributed the sales jump to pent-up demand over the winter that led to a boom in spring showings and home sales. Those deals typically take several months to close.
The inventory of homes on the market continued to shrink, leading to tighter supplies, figures from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors show. The number of single-family houses up for sale fell 17.7 percent from last July, to 21,839. But more people put their homes on the market for the first time this July than a year before, a sign that higher prices are leading more homeowners to consider selling.
“While prices are moderating, they continue to be high because the demand is there and the inventory continues to remain low,” said Corinne Fitzgerald, a Greenfield real estate agent who leads the trade group. “Besides sellers deciding to sell, builders building more workforce housing would greatly help this situation.”
Separately, the real estate website Zillow reported that home values have fallen over the past month after three and a half years of unabated rises. The median value of single-family houses fell 0.1 percent from June to July both nationally and in Boston, according to Zillow’s index, which tracks the value of all houses in the market, not just those up for sale.
Metro Boston home values were still 2.5 percent higher than a year earlier, at a median of $370,900, Zillow said, and rents were up 6.6 percent, hitting $2,228.