Mass. home prices fall, but December sales rise
The median price of a Massachusetts single-family home dropped 5.9 percent in December, the only month in 2010 to post a year-to-year decline, the Warren Group reported today.
Meanwhile, the December number of single-family homes sold in the Bay State increased 6.9 percent on a year-to-year basis, and that number was also up almost 25 percent from November, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity; December 2010 was the best December since 2006.
In a statement, Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said: "I predicted median sale prices would take a dip due to five consecutive months of sales declines. That finally happened in December, marking the only month this year where median sale prices decreased. A slow market has brought buyers to the table, and deals are being made at lower prices."
Median sale prices for Massachusetts single-family homes fell 5.9 percent in December to $277,676, down from $295,000 in December 2009, the Warren Group said.
As for sales volume, 3,581 Massachusetts single-family homes were sold in December, a 6.9 percent increase from 3,350 in December 2009, the group said.
Bay State condo sales dropped in December, down 1.2 percent to 1,590 from 1,610 in December 2009, said the Warren Group, which added that the median condo price in December climbed 3.1 percent to $257,750 from $249,990 in December 2009.
Separately, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors issued a monthly report of its own on December's residential real estate activity in the state. Although the association and the Warren Group use different methods in drawing up their reports, their conclusions were roughly similar.
Monthly Massachusetts home sales were up in December for the first time since June, but median prices for single-family homes fell for the first time in 13 months, the association reported this morning.
In a statement, association president Laurie Cadigan said: “Encouraged by favorable conditions in the real estate market and incremental improvements in the economy, buyers were able to push sales into positive territory to close out a very interesting year. With prices starting to come down and interest rates still relatively low, we could see sales levels continuing to improve throughout the first few months of the year. However, we will have to wait and see the impact that the multiple feet of snow we’ve had will have on buyers.”
For the full calendar year of 2010, sales volume was down less than 2 percent, the association said, and the median price for a single-family home was $302,500, up 4.3 percent.