May homes sales surged


Home and condo sales in Massachusetts surged for the fourth consecutive month in May, as buyers looked to close deals before the end of June in order to take advantage of an expired tax credit, according to the CEO of a firm that released new housing data Tuesday.

Single-family home sales rose nearly 36 percent in May and year-to-date sales are up 29 percent, compared to the first five months of 2009, according to the Warren Group. The median home sale price in May was $290,000, up 2.6 percent — the median home sale price for homes sold from January through May was $284,900, up 7.5 percent from the comparable period last year.

“Pent-up demand from buyers who were delaying purchases because of their concerns about the economy, low interest rates and the tax credit have helped push up sales,” Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren Jr. said in a statement. “But don’t be fooled by the recent gains in median prices. Home values have probably leveled out, but they have not increased much. The gains in median prices are due to consumers selecting more expensive homes this year.”

The Warren Group also reported Tuesday that condo sales were up 24.2 percent in May and are up more than 30 percent for the year and that 6.6 percent of homes sold in the first five months of 2010 were owned by banks or lenders, down from 9.8 percent in the first five months of 2009.