January single-family home sales surge, prices don’t
Better winter than last winter has helped, analysts say
Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts surged by 25 percent in January from a year earlier, coming off levels that were depressed by last winter’s harsh weather, The Warren Group reported Tuesday.
The 3,422 closed sales last month were the most since 2005, the peak of the last housing boom, according to the Warren Group, a Boston real estate tracking firm and publisher of the trade journal Banker & Tradesman. The median sales price, however, declined about a half percent to $320,000 from $321,550 last year and remains below the 2006 peak price of $349,000.
“As expected, the number of sales rose year over year in January; the weather was much more conducive to doing business than last year at this time,” said Cassidy Murphy, editorial director of The Warren Group.
Condo sales also surged, vaulting 29 percent from January 2014 to 1,330, the most since 2007, according to The Warren Group. The median condo price fell about 3 percent, to $290,875 from $299,999 last year.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which tracks a slightly different market, reported similar trends in January. The trade group said single-family home sales jumped more than 18 percent compared with a year earlier. The median sales price was essentially flat, rising to $330,000 from $329,700.
Condo sales jumped 22 percent, the association said. The median condo sales price slid about 1 percent to $309,500 from $311,860.
Annie Blatz, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, said that although statewide median prices slipped, the declines were small. Many communities, particularly those in and around Boston, saw price increases, she said.
The S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of the housing market, found that December home prices in the Boston area rose 5.5 percent from the previous year, slightly higher than the national average of 5.4 percent.
Inventories of homes for sale remain tight, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. They fell on a year-over-year basis for the 63rd straight month.