For home buyers in the Boston area struggling with crushingly-high prices, this morning brings a ray of hope.
The median home price in Massachusetts dropped 4.5 percent in September, down to $277,000, The Warren Group reports. That's down from $290,000 last year.
But in Greater Boston's western and northern suburbs, the drop was nearly twice that.
The median price in Middlesex County plunged 8.8 percent to $362,500, down from nearly $400,000 last year.
Norfolk County, covering the southern suburbs, also saw a significant drop in prices this September, falling 5.7 percent to median of $349,950. That's down from $371,250 in September, 2011.
Suffolk County, which is mainly Boston, bucked the trends though, with a 4.24 percent price in increase in September. Still, the median home price in the Hub is considerably lower than the burbs, weighing in at $294,900, according to The Warren Group.
Of course, median price is a highly imperfect way of tracking shifting values - part of the reduction may simply be more activity in the mid and lower range of the market.
Then again, sales that closed in September reflect deals struck in the summer after the end of the spring market, when sellers are more likely to come down in price and negotiate.
All that said, it's a welcome downshift. Prices are still ridiculously high here - Greater Boston real estate values are down just 15 percent from their peak, Zillow recently reported.
We could use a real, true double dip in home prices.
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