Condo Prices Rise Statewide as Volume Slips: Warren Group

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Condominium sales in the Bay State demonstrated the classic “good news, bad news” syndrome last month. First, the bad news: the total number of units sold in Massachusetts slipped 2.6 percent year-over-year compared to Sept. 2010, [...]

Condominium sales in the Bay State demonstrated the classic “good news, bad news” syndrome last month. First, the bad news: the total number of units sold in Massachusetts slipped 2.6 percent year-over-year compared to Sept. 2010, according to the Warren Group, a Boston-based company that tracks real estate and financial trends. In particular, sales declined from 1,294 units in Sept. 2011 compared to 1,328 units in Sept. 2010.

 Nevertheless, there was an unmistakable silver lining in the form of price increases. Median condo prices for September improved nearly 5 percent to $275,450. That seems to reflect a continuing trend in 2011. Through the first three quarters of the year, the median condo price in Massachusetts reached $276,500, a 4 percent increase compared to the year-to-date pricing last year.

The single-family residential market in Massachusetts also presented a mixed bag last month, although the strengths and weaknesses emerged in different metrics. Last month 3,482 single-family homes changed hands, a 7 percent rise from transactions that closed a year earlier. For the third month in a row, Bay State single-family home sales beat sales for the same month in 2010, according to the Warren Group.

The third quarter made even bigger gains, as sales jumped 10 percent year-over-year on the strength of 11,539 transactions. Unlike condominium pricing, however, single-family home prices were basically flat.  Median prices increased just 0.5 percent, to $289,950.

It may be worth noting that statewide single-family home sales far outpaced condominium sales. According to Warren Group, more than twice as many one-family homes as condominiums changed ownership in Massachusetts last month.