Salem and Peabody each saw a slight increase in single-family home sales last month over July 2011, reflecting a spike in home sales that continues to rise across the state, according to data released by the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate tracker.
Salem had 18 sales in July and Peabody, 35. That marks a 50 percent increase in Salem over July of last year, and a 25 percent increase in Peabody.
A total of 98 houses have been sold in Salem for the first six months of 2012, up from 70 over the same period last year, a 40 percent increase. Peabody has had 196 home sales, a nearly 62 percent increase over the 121 sold over the first six months of 2011.
Similarly, the Bay State experienced its best July since 2005 for home sales, bringing the total number of homes sold statewide to 26,596 over the first six months of the year, up 24.8 percent from 21,319 during the same period in 2011.
A total of 4,979 single-family homes were sold across the state last month, marking a nearly 27 percent increase over July of 2011, the highest number since the 6,672 statewide in July 2005.
There is reason to believe that the trend will continue, according to Cory S. Hopkins, editorial director of The Warren Group, but he warns the public to taper hopes to a realistic point.
"There are a lot of good signs pointing toward a real estate recovery," he said in a statement. "But we are comparing sales to a very depressed market last summer, so it's important to step back and realign expectations."
Sales have also increased in Essex County overall, with a total of 534 homes sold last month. The median price of a home dropped slightly from last year in the first six months of 2012, but still remains higher than the state average of $287,000 at $310,000.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.