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Massachusetts Single-Family Home Sales Drop in May

Massachusetts single family home sales decreased for the fourth straight month continuing the recent downward trend for the Bay State, according to a report released this week by the Warren Group.

A total of 4,482 single-family homes were sold in May compared with 4,820 in May 2013. Year-to-date sales also dropped by 3.8 percent, with 15,467 homes sold compared to 16,073 during the same period last year.

Still, there is reason to be optimistic about the market's future prospects in the state.

"Single-family sales volume is still slipping. Most of these May closings went under agreement in March at the start of the spring selling season, and we'll see sales reach their peak in July," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. "Low inventory and lingering winter weather in March may have depressed the number of sales, but the rising median price tells me that the market is recovering nicely."

The median sales price of single-family homes statewide increased by 4.7 percent in May to $340,000 compared with $324,600 in May 2013. May marked the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

Condominium sales are the bright spot in the market. They remained strong in May, with a total of 2,146 transactions completed compared with 2,015 in May 2013. Condo sales have been on the uptick for 11 consecutive months. Year-to-date sales were also up by 9.3 percent, with 7,166 sales completed during the first five months of this year compared with 6,557 during the same period last year.

Condo prices increased by 8.47 percent in May, with the median selling price coming in at $320,000 compared with $295,000 in May 2013. The median sales price for condos has been increasing for sixteen consecutive months.

"Condominiums are the strongest part of the market these days. The current median price of $320,000 is the highest of any month in history, proving that smaller spaces, care-free maintenance and urban living are popular these days," Warren said.

About Author: Derek Templeton

Derek Templeton is an attorney based in Dallas, Texas. He practices in the areas of real estate, financial services, and general corporate transactional law. His experience includes time as an Attorney Adviser for the U.S. Small Business Administration and as General Counsel for a nonprofit organization in Dallas. A self-avowed "policy junkie," he has a keen interest in the effect that evolving federal policy has on the mortgage, default servicing, and greater housing industries.
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