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A tough spring for buyers?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 23, 2013 07:13 AM

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The latest home sales numbers are out. And for buyers across Greater Boston and the state, it's an increasingly ugly picture.

Basically, buyers are facing the worst possible combo, dwindling choices and rising prices.

Sales of single-family homes across Massachusetts dropped 3.6 percent in March compared to the same time last year, The Warren Group reports.

However, it's not a lack of interest that is driving down sales, but rather the dwindling number of choices.

The number of single-family homes for sale across the state plunged by nearly 30 percent in March compared to this time last spring, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

Yet even as the number of listings and sales falls, home prices are gaining momentum.

The median price for a single-family home in Massachusetts jumped 8 percent in March compared to this time last year, to $285,000, according to The Warren Group.

MAR reports a slightly higher median price of $290,000, up 7.8 percent in March.

I thought the comment from MAR's president in the association's press release this morning on the latest sales numbers was right on target.

Of course, I am sure this will send the Realtor-bashing crazies out there into a frenzy, but here it is.

"A good supply of homes for sale is the only thing we're missing from a sustainable housing recovery," said 2013 MAR President Kimberly Allard-Moccia. "While an increase in prices should entice sellers, it has yet to happen. We need buyers to move up and down the housing ladder, but right now they're either stuck on the rungs or it's too difficult to grab on to."

Buyers, how are you dealing with the lack of inventory out there? And sellers, why are you holding back?

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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