Mass real estate activity nears 2006 level


December marked 12 straight months of rising year-over-year home sales and Massachusetts last year recorded more home sales than in any year since 2006, the State House News service reported. Home sales in 2012 were up 18 percent over 2011, according to data released January 24 by The Warren Group.

Prices are up too, posting their biggest monthly increase since 2005. The median sale price in December hit $300,000, up from $267,000 in December 2011. In all, 46,887 home sales were recorded last year, compared to 50,724 in 2006. December home sales were up 8 percent, compared to December 2011, and fourth quarter sales were up 13 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren Jr. called 2012 “the year of robust recovery in the real estate market.” The bump in sales rose over a depressed base, as 2011 home sales in Massachusetts were down 6 percent compared to 2010. For the year, the median sale price of a single family home in Massachusetts in 2012 was $290,000, up from $285,000 in 2011.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors released its own data January 24 showing a spike in residential real estate activity last year. “December capped off a very active year in 2012 as the real estate market in Massachusetts made significant progress towards recovery,” MAR President Kimberly Allard-Moccia, broker-owner of Century 21 Professionals in Braintree, said in a statement. “With the ‘fiscal cliff’ averted for now and pending activity remaining strong, we anticipate a healthy start to 2013.”