The Warren Group: Median price for Mass. single-family homes falls below $300,000 again

Prices of Massachusetts single-family homes slipped back below $300,000 in September, the first time since May that the median price statewide has dropped below that amount, the Warren Group said Thursday.

The median price of single-family homes dropped 4.5 percent to $277,000 in September, down from $290,000 in September 2011, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity.

On a volume basis, though, sales continued to rise; 3,791 single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts during September, up 8 percent from the same month a year ago.

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The Warren Group looks at housing data by both the month and the quarter. Third-quarter sales also increased.

“Home sales have reached the highest level in nine quarters, a strong sign that consumers have regained some confidence in the economy and are making home purchases with more enthusiasm,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “But the end of the summer selling season and a slight increase in unemployment could mean sales will slow at the end of the year.”

The median price for a Massachusetts condo pretty much held steady at $275,000 in September, the Warren Group said.

On a volume basis, 1,609 condos were sold in Massachusetts in September; that’s up 23 percent on a year-to-year comparison basis.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors issued a separate monthly report on the local housing market. The association uses a different method to track data.

The association report found a 2.8 percent increase in the number of single-family homes sold in Massachusetts during September, with the median price of $294,900 down 0.6 percent from the same month a year ago.

“September numbers show that buyers took advantage of market conditions to push home sales up again,” Massachusetts Association of Realtors president Trisha McCarthy, said in a statement. “Despite the decreasing inventory of homes for sales, prices continue to stabilize and compared to the peak years are a good value for those people looking to buy.”

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