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Mass. housing market broke records in May

AP/Associated Press

The region’s housing market continued to roar along during the spring, with home prices hitting record highs in May.

A pair of reports released Wednesday detailed sharp gains in prices of both single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts for the month, with sales volume also climbing as the market rounded into what is typically its busiest stretch of the year.

The median price of a condo statewide topped $400,000 for the first time in 32 years of record keeping, hitting $400,500, according to Warren Group, a real estate data firm in Peabody. Single-family home prices also set a record for May, up 4.1 percent from last year, to $410,000.


“Inventory levels and new listings are down so far this year and pending sales are on the rise,” said Warren Group’s CEO, Tim Warren. “I fully expect to see the median single-family home price reach new highs in coming months.”

The region’s long-tight housing market loosened just a bit this spring, with new listings on the rise. That appeared to translate into more deals closing in May, with recorded sales of both single-family homes and condos climbing.

But the trend may not last. New listings fell slightly in May, according to data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, and the brisk pace of sales means that the inventory of homes on the market is being quickly depleted.

That, plus steadily rising prices, is putting renewed pressure on would-be buyers, said MAR president Anne Meczywor, a broker/associate at Roberts & Associates in Lenox.

“With median home prices over $400,000, you have to ask, how much higher can they go?” she said.

“It’s hard for first-time home buyers to find what they are looking for at a price they can afford.”

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