Regional Spotlight: May 2010 Home Sales Up 37 Percent in Massachusetts; Condo Sales Jump 24 Percent


June 25, 2010

Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts surged 37% in May 2010, marking the fourth consecutive month of double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year sales, according to a new report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Bay State condominium sales also rose significantly in May, jumping 24% from a year earlier.

“The increase in May sales volume isn’t a huge surprise. The residential real estate market is still feeling the effects of the home buyer tax credit because buyers who want to take advantage of the expired tax credit have until the end of June to close their deals,” said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr.

Single-family home sales jumped 36.8% to 4,452 from 3,255 in May 2009. Monthly home sales have climbed more than 10% since February. Year-to-date sales are up 29% to 15,751 from 12,208 a year earlier.

The median home price reached $290,000 in May, a 2.6% increase from $282,520 during the same month last year. The increase was more modest than in previous months this year when monthly median home prices rose 7% to 11.5% year-over-year. The median price for homes sold from January through May was $284,900, up 7.5% from $265,000 in the prior year.

“Pent-up demand from buyers who were delaying purchases because of their concerns about the economy, low interest rates and the tax credit have helped push up sales,” said Warren. “But don’t be fooled by the recent gains in median prices. Home values have probably leveled out, but they have not increased much. The gains in median prices are due to consumers selecting more expensive homes this year.”

In the first five months of the year, 6.6% of single-family homes sold in Massachusetts, or 1,036, were owned by banks or lenders. That’s down from 9.8% in the first five months of 2009.

Condo sales rose by double-digits for the third consecutive month in May. A total of 1,950 condo sales transactions were recorded statewide in May, 24.2% more than the 1,570 sales in May 2009. Year-to-date condo sales soared 30.3% to 7,232 from 5,551.

A total of 405 bank-owned condos sold from January through May, representing 5.6% of all condo sales statewide. That’s down from 11.2% a year ago.

The median selling price for condos in May was relatively flat compared to last year. The median condo price recorded in May was $255,000, down .78% from $257,000 in May 2009. The year-to-date median condo price increased 6.4% to $250,000 from $235,000.