Mass. April home sales drop, but prices rise, the Warren Group says

High demand and a shortage of homes for sale helped boost the median price for single-family homes in Massachusetts by almost 14 percent last month, the Warren Group reported Wednesday.

Timothy M. Warren Jr. Photo taken from the Warren Group website.

The April median price was $313,000, up from $275,000 for the same month a year ago, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity in the Bay State.

Meanwhile, 3,504 single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts during April, down about 1 percent from a year ago. That marked the third consecutive month that sales volume decreased on a year-over-year basis, the Warren Group said.

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“There is high demand and low inventory this spring, which is causing this pattern of rising prices and dropping sales volume,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group, said in a statement. “Despite the news that sales volume is down, low mortgage rates and steady home values are helping buoy consumer confidence.”

Warren added: “The housing market continues to improve but could be hindered if rising prices cause an affordability issue. Three consecutive months of double digit price increases is slightly concerning.”

Last month, 1,493 condominiums were sold in the state, up 8 percent from a year ago. The median condo sale price rose almost 1 percent to $280,000, the Warren Group said.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors also issued a report on the local housing market Wednesday. According to the association’s analysis, April was the third consecutive month that monthly sales for single-family homess were down on a year-to-year comparison basis. That period follows 19 straight months of year-over-year increases. Median prices were up for the seventh straight month. Condo sales and prices were up compared to the same time last year.

While the inventory of homes for sale is down, April had the most new listings in one month since April 2010, the final month of the homebuyer tax credit.

“While the lack of homes to buy over the past several months kept closed sales down, the surge in the number of new listings to hit the market in April is an optimistic sign,” association president Kimberly Allard-Moccia said in a statement. “With home prices improving, sellers are finally gaining the confidence they need to list their home. This should help move us closer to a more balanced market.”