Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"Massachusetts’ single-family home sales dropped 13.1 percent in May to a level not seen in nearly two decades, according to a report from The Warren Group. The Warren Group found there were 3,256 single-family home sales in May compared with 3,749 a year earlier. “This report shows that home sales are still slow in Massachusetts. In the late 1990s and into the early part of this century, the state was averaging over 5,000 single-family home sales during the month of May. Last month, we saw fewer than 3,300 home sales, making it the lowest sales pace for the month of May in almost two decades,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive officer of The Warren Group, in a statement. Single-family home sales recorded from January through May slid 12.5 percent to 12,128 from 13,857 during the same span in 2008. May’s median sale price was $280,000, down 13 percent from the $322,000 reported in May 2008. Median home prices for the first five months of the year dipped 15.1 percent to $264,900 from $312,000 in the year-earlier period. Condominium sales saw an even steeper decline, plunging 22 percent to 1,567 units sold. The state saw 2,010 condo sales in May 2008. May was the seventh consecutive month that monthly condominium sales were down by more than 20 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to The Warren Group. Year-to-date condo sales are down 26.6 percent for the first five months of the year compared to the same time period a year ago. The median condo price slipped 10.4 percent to $257,000 in May from $287,000 during the same month last year. Year-to-date, the median condo price has fallen 13.3 percent to $235,000 from $271,000, according to the report. The Warren Group said foreclosures and distressed property sales have put “downward pressure” on home prices this year as bank-owned property sales make up a larger share of the market. Bank-owned property sales made up 7.6 percent of all single-family home sales so far this year, an increase from the 5.2 percent of bank-owned sales during the same time period last year."