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Bad combo: Rising prices, falling sales

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 23, 2014 08:23 AM

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Home sales fell again last month, a bad omen for the spring market.

But right now it's buyers who are taking it on the chin and sellers who are laughing all the way to the bank.

Home sales fell 11.5 percent this March compared to the same time last year, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports. The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, pegs the decline at a somewhat smaller 7.8 percent.

Yet both market trackers report a big jump in prices, a trend that has been going on for at least 18 months.

The median home price in Massachusetts rose 8.6 percent in March, to $315,000, according to the Warren Group, while MAR is reporting just about the same price, and an 8.3 percent jump.

So what gives?

The same old, same old we have been hearing about for the past year, too few homes for sale.

"The low inventory of single-family homes in the market is the primary cause of the decreasing sales activity," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive The Warren Group, in a press release. "Motivated buyers, however, are eagerly bidding for the limited supply which accounts for the increasing sales prices. People want to buy homes before prices and interest rates rise further."

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

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