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Bay State Home Sales Retreat Again as Median Price Jumps

Another spike in home prices drove Massachusetts sales down for the third straight month in April, according to the ""Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com/.

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The group reported 3,504 single-family home sales in the Bay State in April, a 1 percent decline from last year. However, April's sales volume was still the highest recorded so far this year.

Year-to-date, sales were down about 2.7 percent as of the end of April.

""There is high demand and low inventory this spring, which is causing this pattern of rising prices and dropping sales volume,"" said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the [COLUMN_BREAK]

Warren Group. ""Despite the news that sales volume is down, low mortgage rates and steady home values are helping buoy consumer confidence.""

The median price for single-family homes sold in April was $313,000, a 14 percent year-over-year spike. April marked the seventh consecutive month in which the median sale price increased statewide, and it was the first time since 2008 that the median price crossed the $300,000 mark. It was also the third straight month to see double-digit improvements.

The median selling price for the first four months of 2013 was $294,000, an 11 percent increase over the same period last year.

""The housing market continues to improve, but could be hindered if rising prices cause an affordability issue. Three consecutive months of double digit price increases is slightly concerning,"" Warren said.

While home sales dropped, condominium sales increased across Massachusetts, rising 8 percent to 1,492. A total of 4,546 condo sale transactions were recorded in the first four months of the year, a 2.4 percent increase from 2012.

Meanwhile, the median condo sale price rose 1 percent to $280,000. The year-to-date median condo price was up 1.6 percent to $260,000 at the end of April.

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