Half a million mark puts housing market in new territory


BOSTON (SHNS/WWLP) – Massachusetts home sales and prices have been setting records for a while now, and there’s another one to add to the pile.

The Warren Group reported Tuesday morning that the median sale price for a single-family home in Massachusetts during April sailed past the $500,000 mark for the first time, resting at $508,000.

Buyers in that range, if they had a 10 percent down-payment to make of $50,000, would face a rough monthly mortgage payment of about $2,300, not including the cost of property taxes and insurance, according to Warren Group CEO Tim Warren.

However, real estate experts in western Massachusetts say sale prices are averaging a little less than that, but prices are much higher than this time last year.

“In Hampden County, we are seeing about $280,000 as the median price point of past sales in the last three months and in Hampshire County it’s about $391,000,” said Carrie Blair at Keller William Realty Pioneer Valley.

Using 2019 data for comparison since last spring’s housing market was skewed by pandemic impacts, the Warren Group said single family home sales were up 5.2 percent compared to April 2019 and April home sale prices were up by 32.6 percent.

“The amazing fact of the matter is that the monthly median price has not declined in any month in the past five years, not even during the darkest days of the pandemic,” Warren said in a statement.

The 15,262 single-family home sales recorded year-to-date in Massachusetts mark an 11.5 percent increase from the first four months of 2020, and the year-to-date median home sale price increased 15.7 percent on the same basis to $440,000. Condominium sales are also knocking on the door of the $500,000 threshold, coming in last month at a median of $475,000.

And higher prices were not keeping buyers away: condo sales last month were up more than 27 percent compared to April 2019.

“The Greater Boston condo market is definitely back, and for good reason,” Warren said. “There’s a clearly-defined reopening schedule for the city, which will help spur activity in population centers that were very unappealing to prospective buyers just a year ago.”

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