EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 25, 2013

June marks big month for Mass. housing market

(Continued)

The median sale price for single-family homes rose for the ninth consecutive month in June to $350,000. That’s the highest since August 2007, and a nearly 9 percent increase from the $321,800 median sale price in June 2012.

The median sale price from January to June also rose to $315,000. That’s 12 percent higher than the $281,000 median sale price from the first six months of last year. Locally, cities and towns saw similar increases.

Statewide condominium sales totalled 8,750 over the first six months of 2013, up 2 percent from last year. The median condo sale price from January to June is $284,000, up 3 percent from 2012.

With housing activity picking up, McLennan said some buyers are feeling pressure to “pull the trigger” before interest rates rise any higher. Both McLennan and local Realtor Kevin Vitali pointed to low inventory as a reason why prices are rising.

Generally speaking, Vitali said it’s the best time in five or six years to sell a home. And while first-time homebuyers have been active in recent years, Vitali said he is also seeing more and more sales of higher-priced homes — likely indicating older or more experienced buyers and sellers are getting involved in the market again.

“The sales that are closing are much higher than they have been,” said Vitali, who sells homes from Chelmsford to Newburyport with Merrimack Valley Real Estate.

Overall, Vitali said he’s encouraged by the latest industry figures. But he said other economic factors like unemployment and fuel prices must hold steady or improve for the momentum to continue.

“While the news is good, I would say I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Vitali. “I think the economy is still fragile. As long as we’re heading in the right direction, we’ll be good.”

January to June Single-Family Home Sales & Prices YEAR-TO-DATE SALES City/Town 2012 2013 % Change Andover 152 147 -3 Boxford 38 56 47 Georgetown 40 43 7.5 Groveland 28 23 -18 Haverhill 162 155 -4 Lawrence 81 76 -6 Methuen 168 160 -5 N. Andover 108 121 12 N. Reading 70 76 9 :Year-to-date Median Sale Prices City/Town 2012 2013 % change Andover $490,500 $545,000 11 Boxford $450,000 $544,450 21 Georgetown $292,130 $355,000 22 Groveland $296,225 $340,000 15 Haverhill $220,977 $253,000 15 Lawrence $151,000 $172,750 14 Methuen $220,000 $245,000 11 N. Andover $425,750 $438,000 3 N. Reading $396,250 $433,500 9 (Source: The Warren Group)

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