Massachusetts single-family home sales rose 20 percent in August, the Warren Group says

Sales of both Massachusetts single-family homes and condominiums rose in August—the seventh straight month both property types have posted a year-over-year increase and more evidence that a housing market recovery is underway, the Warren Group reported Tuesday morning.

Last month, 5,118 single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts in August, a 20 percent increase from August 2011. This is the second time sales have surpassed the 5,000 mark this year, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity and the publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

“One more month of strong home sales confirm speculation that the housing market recovery is underway,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “Even though we are comparing to a slow August last year, the consistent sales volume of 4,000 to 5,000 in the past few months is a promising indicator.”

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The median price of single-family homes increased 1.6 percent to $310,000 on a year-to-year comparison basis, the Warren Group said in a press release. August 2012 marks the third straight month that the median price exceeded $300,000.

“In past housing market recoveries, we’ve seen sales volume increase before prices followed,” Warren said. “Perhaps these low prices will lure even more buyers into the market and bring a sustained recovery.”

In August, condominium sales statewide increased 40 percent. with a total of 2,432 condos sold, but the median condo price dropped to $279,000, down 4.3 percent from a year ago.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors issued a separate monthly report of its own Tuesday morning about the Massachusetts housing market.

According to the association, August was the 14th straight month of increased sales for Massachusetts single-family homes.

“Closing activity picked up in August as buyers, who were able to take advantage of the favorable market, wanted to get into their homes prior to the start of the school year,” association president Trisha McCarthy said in a statement. “Prices continue to reflect a leveling out with single-family home prices essentially flat from the year before.”

To read the association’s press release, please click here.