Mass. home sales down slightly again in DecemberAP , Associated Press
Jan. 29, 2014 11:50 AM ET
BOSTON (AP) — Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts fell slightly in December compared with the same month the year before, the second consecutive year-over-year sales decrease, two groups that track the market announced Wednesday.
Median prices, however, continued to rise.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors and The Warren Group said the number of sales were down less than 1 percent when compared with December 2012, a more modest drop than in November.
The sales drop of less than one-quarter of 1 percent did not faze the Waltham-based Relators group.
"After a slight blip in November, buyers were able to help sales get back on track in December," President Peter Ruffini said. "While 2013 will be remembered for a lack of homes for sale, price increases have improved overall home equity, which should help push sellers into the market in 2014."
The Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren Jr. said low inventory combined with rising interest rates at the end of the year slowed the market.
"Sales and prices set a torrid pace in the third quarter of 2013 and through October. Now the market is taking a breather," he said.
The median price of a single-family home jumped more than 6 percent to $320,000, according to the Realtors. The Warren Group, a Boston-based publisher of real estate data, calculated an almost 4 percent increase in the median price to more than $311,000.
The groups use slightly different methods in their calculations.
The number of condominiums sold and median condo prices were up in December, according to both groups.
Year-over-year sales of condominiums have gone up 23 out of the last 24 months, according to the Realtors, which reported a 6 percent sales jump.
The Warren Group reported a more dramatic 15 percent jump year-over-year.