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November Home Prices Hit Record High

Cranes stretch into the sky over what will become three-buildings of luxury apartments and condominiums, the EchelonSeaport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Cranes stretch into the sky over what will become three-buildings of luxury apartments and condominiums, the EchelonSeaport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

More single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts last month than in any previous November and the homes sold for a higher median price than in any November before, according to real estate market analysts.

The Warren Group reported Thursday that there were 5,231 single-family home sales last month, a 2.2 percent increase over November 2017. At the same time, the median home price rose by 4.5 percent to $385,000, also an all-time high.

Tim Warren, CEO of the Warren Group, said the median price has declined on a year-to-year basis just twice in more than four years. He said steady demand is driven by the state's solid economy and the attractiveness of real estate investments.

"With the stock market in decline and the bond markets also declining so far this year and saving interest rates are at a low level, some people may be thinking that real estate is the best investment that's available right now," Warren said on the organization's podcast.

There were 4,658 purchase mortgages for single-family homes in November, the Warren Group said, representing a 2.2 percent increase over November 2017. November purchase mortgages totaled $1.77 billion and so far this year single-family homes have accounted for 49,202 purchase mortgages in Massachusetts totaling $19.2 billion.

There were 1,991 condominium transactions last month, a 7.4 percent decrease from a year earlier. Though total sales are down, the median condo price increased 4 percent to $365,000.

Warren said the steady rise in the median condo price — it's up 7.2 percent so far this year and stands within $20,000 of the median single-family home price — is driven by the crush of high-end condo units coming online in and around Boston.

"Massachusetts is doing a good job of creating more housing units but you don't need to drive very far before you realize that most of the new construction these days are condos," he said. "Large developments of single-family homes are not possible in communities close to Boston, where the best jobs are being created."

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