The median selling price for a single family home in Massachusetts fell 18.3 percent last month on a year-to-year basis, and it was also the worst February for condo sales in 13 years, the Warren Group reported.
Last month, the median selling price for a single-family home in Massachusetts was $245,000, down from $300,000 in February 2008; it was the sixth straight month that the median price has been under $300,000 and the sixth straight month that prices have declined by double-digit percentages, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate data and publishes Banker & Tradesman.
During February, 1,825 single family homes were sold in Massachusetts, down 14.6 percent from 2,138 in February 2008, the firm said. Of last month's total, 206 homes, or 11.3 percent, were bank-owned properties. In February 2007, there were only 48 sales of bank-owned single-family homes, the Warren Group said.
“Distressed property sales have become a bigger share of the market and will continue to be a factor going forward as lending institutions try to reduce their portfolio of real estate-owned property,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group, said in a statement.
In February, 866 condos were sold in Massachusetts, down 30 percent from 1,236 a year earlier, the Warren Group said, and the median condo price fell 14 percent to $220,000 from $255,750 in February 2008.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors also issued a monthly report on the local housing market. The association uses a slightly different method to track real estate activity than the Warren Group does.
According to the association, the February median selling price for a Massachusetts single-family home was $252,500, a decrease of 18.5 percent when compared with $310,000 in February 2008.
On a volume basis, 1,645 detached single-family homes were sold last month, an 11.4 percent decrease from the 1,857 homes sold the same time last year, the association said.
Massachusetts condo sales fell 16.4 percent, from 827 units sold in February 2008 to 691 units sold in February 2009, the association said, and February's median condo price dropped 15.4 percent last month, from $252,000 in February 2008 to $213,250 in February 2009.
Gary Rogers, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, commented on the local housing market in a statement.
“We continue to be hopeful that sales will increase in the coming months as buyers take advantage of the combination of low prices, low interest rates, and the $8,000 federal first-time homebuyer tax credit that expires on Dec. 1, 2009,” Rogers said. “Members have been seeing an increase in open house attendance over the past weeks, and this is something that should continue through the spring, especially if the economy starts to improve.”
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)