Home sales surge for the fifth month

Double-digit gains continue in hottest market since 1980s

Home sales in Massachusetts jumped 16 percent last month from a year earlier as the state’s housing real estate market continued one of the hottest streaks since the boom of the late 1980s, a Boston real estate tracking firm reported. picture-uh=2f2b20f697257f4ca161570927664cf-ps=3f75311aa8eb9b7f12be82973ae100-121-Central-St-Norwell-MA-02061

October marked the fifth consecutive month of double-digit gains in single-family home sales, a streak that included a 25 percent surge in September, a 16 percent increase in August, and a 24 percent jump in July from the same months in 2014, the Warren Group reported. All told, two-thirds of this year’s single-family home sales have occurred in the past five months — the biggest share of annual sales during the period since 1987, when the Warren Group adopted its current tracking method.

“This is what a red-hot market looks like,’’ the firm said in its report.

A rebound from the brutal winter, which depressed sales in the beginning of the year, as well as low mortgage rates and an improved economy, have contributed to the recent surge, said Timothy Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group, which publishes the real estate trade journal Banker & Tradesman. Home sales in the first 10 months of the year — more than 45,000 — are up nearly 11 percent from the same period in 2014.

While prices in some markets in and around Boston have risen rapidly, statewide prices have advanced modestly, the Warren Group said. The median single-family home sales price in Massachusetts in October was $327,000, up 2 percent from $320,000 in October 2014.

Condominium sales rose 8 percent last month, after jumping about 20 percent in September. The median condo price in the state rose 8 percent, to $315,000 from about $290,000 in October 2014, according to the Warren Group.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which tracks a slightly narrower segment of the real estate market, also reported a solid increase in single-family home sales. The trade group said October sales rose nearly 8 percent from a year earlier and the median price increased about 3 percent to $335,000 from $325,000.

Condominium sales slipped about 2 percent, although the median price climbed more than 5 percent, to $316,000 from $300,000 in October 2014, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
Inventories, meanwhile, remain tight, the association said. The number of both homes and condos for sale last month fell about 17 percent from a year earlier.

Also Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a widely followed measure of the housing market, reported that home prices in the Boston metropolitan area rose 4.8 percent in September, compared to the same month in 2014. Nationally, prices rose 4.9 percent, according to the index.