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Home Sales Up, But Prices Are Not

By Eric Convey, Managing Editor, Boston Business Journal
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BOSTON (CBS) – The pace of house and condominium sales is picking up in Massachusetts, but as often is the case early in a housing recovery, prices remain below year-ago levels.

Real estate tracking firm The Warren Group said 2,350 single-family houses were sold statewide in February, a 33 percent increase from the 1,765 that were sold in February 2011.

This February was the busiest for sales in the state since 2007, the Warren Group reported.

Read: Real Estate Market May Be Rebounding

Year-to-date, single-family home sales are up 15.8 percent compared with the same period in 2011.

The median price was $245,000, compared with $252,500 in February 2011.

“Sales volume has increased in seven of the past eight months. This rebound in the market is starting to look pretty solid,” Timothy M. Warren  Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a prepared statement.

“The mild winter weather certainly helped, but it’s not the only factor boosting sales. Lower unemployment rates, low mortgage rates and attractive pricing are fueling a gradual recovery.”

“It’s typical to see sales volume pick up before prices rebound again,” Warren added.

“Until sellers start to see a flood of interested buyers at open houses, prices will remain depressed.”

Condominium sales also were up statewide, with 892 transactions in February 2012 compared with 757 in February 2011 — an 18 percent increase.

The median price of a condominium increased to $235,535 in February 2012 compared with $225,000 during February 2011, according to the Warren Group.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal can be seen weekdays at 6 a.m. on WBZ-TV.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lvanderpool.

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