Home prices broke records in February in a somber hint at what to expect this Spring House Hunt season.

A report The Warren Group released on March 19 found that the median sales price of single-family home in Massachusetts jumped 10% year over year in February, to $548,250, a record high for the month.

Sales, meanwhile, remained relatively flat as home shoppers and real estate agents alike clamor for more inventory and proposed lawsuit settlements that would decouple commissions raise the question of whether buyers will be shouldering more costs.

Without a big influx in inventory, the future looks bleak.

“A lack of inventory is the biggest factor driving these trends, and with fewer and fewer homes hitting the market, we can fully expect to see more record-setting prices paired with a low sales volume in the coming months,” said Cassidy Norton, associate publisher and media relations director for The Warren Group, a data analytics firm and publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

In the condo market, the jump wasn’t as high but it still smarts. The median sales price in this category rose 6.5% year over year to $490,000, a record-setter for the month. What was once viewed as a stepping stone for many into the housing market may be growing more out of reach.

Buyers are still snapping them up. Sales in this category increased 5.8% year over year.

“Activity is still nowhere near what we saw even two or three years ago,” Norton said. “Record high prices and high interest rates with are likely a big factor in the long-term decline in activity, and prospective buyers shouldn’t expect much relief in the near future.”

In Greater Boston, the pain was more acute: The median cost of a single-family home here skyrocketed nearly 12% year over year in February to $693,750, while the cost of a condo shot up 5.7% to $570,500, according to the report.

Sales were down 2.7% in the single-family market but up 8.8% in the condo category.

The market in Acton, a popular suburb with home buyers, underscores how the lack of inventory is driving up prices all over the states. Sales plunged 50% year over year in February in this Middlesex County community, but the median sales price rose 5.4% to $793,350.

In Malden, condo sales were up 20%, and the median sales price rose 30.7% year over year to $522,750.

In the county-by county analysis of the single-family home market, sales were up a whopping 133.3% in Nantucket County and 106.7% in much more affordable Franklin County. The median home sale price in these counties were $4,295,000 and $320,000, respectively.

In Suffolk County, condo sales edged up 3.7% and the median sales price about the same amount to $655,000. In Norfolk County, viewed by some as a less expensive alternative, condo sales were up nearly 30%, and the median sales price was down 4.9% to $504,000.

Posted by Ryan Drowne on
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