Business & Tech

Shortage of homes for sale drives up prices

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/File

A shortage of houses for sale continues to drive home prices upward in Massachusetts.

The median price of a single-family house jumped 8 percent in September, compared to last year, to $380,000, according to figures out Tuesday from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. It’s the 21st time in 22 months that home prices have climbed.

It comes amid continued low inventory and a dearth of sales as sellers stay on the sidelines. The number of homes sold in Massachusetts dipped 5.8 percent in September compared to last year, while listings are down by nearly one-fourth. Inventory has been falling consistently for more than five years.

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Figures for condos followed similar trends, with the median price up 3.9 percent to $350,000.

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A tight supply of homes for sale is sparking bidding wars and driving up prices, said Paul Yorkis, president of the state association.

“We need to see more listings come on to the market to deal with these record inventory lows,” he said. “These listings could come from new production, people moving in with their families, or in accessory dwelling units. Any way it comes, young and first-time homebuyers especially will be grateful.”

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.