Business & Tech

The number of Mass. homes for sale is down, while prices are up. Again

Signs like this one still are in short supply across Massachusetts.
Associated Press
Signs like this one still are in short supply across Massachusetts.

The state’s housing market offered no surprises in February: The number of homes for sale remained at record lows, while prices crept ever higher.

It marked the third month in a row that the number of single-family homes for sale in Massachusetts fell below 10,000 — a record low for the month.

Sales of single-family homes for the month were down 6.1 percent, compared with February of last year, while condominium sales remained flat, compared with the same time last year, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

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Meanwhile, the median price for both single-family homes and condominiums hit the same figure — $350,000, an increase of 7 percent for homes and 11.1 percent for condos. It marked the third time that the median price for single-family and condos were the same since MAR began recording the data in 2004.

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“At one time, condominiums were often a more affordable option for buyers who wanted to get onto the first rung of the homeownership ladder,” said Rita Coffey, president of the association and general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth. “Today, that’s not necessarily the case, as inventory is so low and demand so high that many low- and moderate-income home buyers are being left on the outside looking in.”

The Warren Group, which tracks a larger number of real estate transactions in Massachusetts, recorded a 6.4 percent year-over-year increase in the median single-family home price — which reached $340,000 in February. Warren also pegged the median price of condos at $350,000, but at a higher year-over-year increase of about 18 percent. Based on Warren’s data, both median prices are records for the month.

“This most recent gain marks 23 consecutive months of year-over-year median home price gains, and there’s no sign that they’re slowing down,” said Warren Group chief executive Tim Warren.

While Warren recorded a dip of 2.5 percent in single-family home sales last month compared with February 2017, it said condo sales were up 3.1 percent.

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In the red hot Greater Boston market, sales were slightly down, but median prices broke February records: $549,000 for single-family homes and $546,000 for condos, according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, which covers 64 cities and towns.

Even for February, typically a slow month for sales, MAR said, the number of single-family homes on the market fell to a record low of 9,494 — a 28 percent drop from the same time last year. The number of condos for sale also dropped 28 percent, to 2,791.

Still, the few properties that hit the market were scooped up quickly. On average, single-family homes spent 11 fewer days on the market in February 2018 than they did in the same month last year, while condos sold in four fewer days.

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