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Finally, home sales back to pre-recession levels

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis June 26, 2012 08:17 AM

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The budding comeback in homes sales has hit a new milestone.

Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts have bounced back to levels not seen since the Great Recession sent an already declining market into a tailspin.

May home sales were up more than 27 percent in May over the same month last year, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports this morning, while The Warren Group pegs the jump at 35 percent.

But the real news is what the numbers say about the direction of the long-suffering real estate market, which finally appears to be clambering out of the deep trough it plunged into after the near global economic collapse of September 2008.

The 4,445 homes sold in May surpassed both May 2007 and May 2006 as well, when 3,884 and 4,200 homes were sold, respectively, in those months, according to a comparison of numbers from past monthly reports on the MAR website.

But it's not just sales, but also inventory levels and the overall pace of sales as well.

In fact, homes are selling much more briskly now then they were back in the spring of 2007.

Single-family homes stayed on the market and average of 112 days in May, while condos, in another surprise, sold on average after 103 days, MAR reports. Back in May 2007, homes were on the market an average of 134 days, while condos lingered for 139.

Despite predictions of a big price turnaround, home values are still in negative territory, with the median price of a home in Massachusetts down a percent from May, 2011, weighing in at $295,000, MAR reports.

In fact, prices are not even close to where they were back five years ago.

The median sale price of a home in Massachusetts in May 2007: $355,000.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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