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There’s no sign of a slowdown in Mass. home prices

Associated Press

Slightly more single-family homes were sold in April statewide than during the same time last year, marking the first year-over-year increase in sales in Massachusetts since last November, according to housing data tracking firm the Warren Group.

The 4,157 sales recorded last month marked a 1.2 percent rise over April 2017 — a tiny but hopeful movement of the needle in a housing market that has been stymied by a shortage of properties for sale.

But Massachusetts Association of Realtors data released Wednesday found single-family home sales in Massachusetts were flat in April, down 0.4 percent. Still, the agency, which tracks a smaller pool of transactions than Warren, reported the number of single-family homes for sale was back over 10,000 after four months of falling under that benchmark.


Meanwhile, condominiums continued to be a popular choice among home buyers, with the Warren Group reporting year-over-year sales climbing 15 percent, and MAR reporting a 13 percent jump.

At the same time, the median price for condos statewide climbed faster than that of single-family homes in April. The organizations reported, respectively, 10 and 13 percent increases in the median price for condos, compared with 7 and 9 percent increases for single-family homes.

The trend also continues to show a convergence in the median price of condos and single-family homes. Warren reported a $373,000 median price for condos and a $375,000 median for a single-family home in April. MAR had condos at $379,450 and single-family homes at $385,000.

Overall, median single-family home prices statewide have climbed for 25 consecutive months, driven by the shortage of inventory, Warren Group chief executive Tim Warren said. And with peak buying season just around the bend, would-be homebuyers should brace for sticker shock, he said.

“The summer months have the highest volume and the highest median prices,” Warren said. “Last year, it was the month of June when we reached a record median of $399,000. This year we could get up on $400,000. That’s why a lot of people aren’t biting at the chance to sell their homes — they figure they would be in a very competitive market.”


Indeed, the number of single-family homes for sale in April dropped by 25.5 percent year-over-year, while the number of condos on the market declined by about 20 percent, according to MAR. And on average, whatever hit the market didn’t gather dust. Single-family homes spent an average 16 fewer days on the market, while condos averaged 11 fewer days.

In the super-heated Greater Boston region, sales of single-family homes and condos were up 0.2 percent and 16.2 percent over April of last year, according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, which tracks market activity in 64 communities. GBAR president Marie Presti, broker-owner of The Presti Group in Newton, contends that buyers in the region are not dealing with as much competition due to higher interest rates and increasing sale prices.

“That’s led to fewer multiple offer scenarios, less seller exuberance, and more normalcy in the negotiation process,” she said.

The median price for single-family homes and condos in Greater Boston hit a record high for the month of April at $612,000 and $593,629 respectively, according to GBAR.

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