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Newton Home Sales Slip in March

Low inventory is likely to blame for the drop in home sales.

Newton’s single-family home sales took a bit of a tumble in March, which The Warren Group blamed on “shrinking inventory," that is “depressing sales volume."

Mirroring a similar trend for the Commonwealth, single-family home sales in Newton dropped from 31 in March 2012 to 27 in March 2013, or a dip of just under 13 percent. So far this year, Newton has seen 81 homes sold – compared to 105 in 2012, according to The Warren Group, which publishes Banker & Tradesman.

Statewide, March 2013 home sales dropped more than 3.5 percent compared to sales in March 2012.

"Low inventory is plaguing housing markets all over the country, and Massachusetts is no exception," said David Harris, editorial director at The Warren Group. "With mortgage rates low and prices competitive, we're hopeful more sellers will emerge and the trend in dropping home sales will reverse."

Low inventory was also the likely cause of Newton's stagnant home and condo sales in February.

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Meanwhile, home sales in Middlesex County rose slightly for a second month in a row, from 643 homes sold in March 2012 to 646 sold in March 2013.

Similar to the rest of the state, Newton’s single-family home median sale price increased in March. While Massachusetts saw an 8 percent increase from March 2012, the median price of Newton's homes sold in March 2013 saw a 33 percent increase from March 2012, according to The Warren Group.

The median price for homes sold in March in Middlesex County also saw an increase of more than 5 percent over last year.

"It's clear that the low supply of homes for sale is continuing to pressure prices," Harris said. "And there is definitely concern that such steep price spikes will cause an affordability issue."

Condo sales also dropped across the state, The Warren Group reported, decreasing more than 2 percent from 1,240 in March 2012 to 1,211 in March 2013. Median sale prices for Massachusetts condos increased 1.5 percent last month, compared to prices in March 2012.

Newton March 2012 March 2013 % change March home sales 31 27 -12.90% YTD home sales 105 81 -22.86% March median home sale price $608,000 $810,000 33.22% YTD median home sale price $726,500 $792,500 9.08% Middlesex County March home sales 643 646 0.47% YTD home sales 1,614 1,651 2.29% March median home sale price $348,800 $367,051 5.23% YTD median home sale price $349,500 $372,000 6.44% Massachusetts March home sales 3,215 3,100 -3.58% YTD home sales 8,017 7,849 -2.1% March median home sale price $263,000 $285,000 8.37% YTD media home sale price $255,500 $282,500 10.57%

Source: The Warren Group

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