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Median Home Sale Price In Mass. Nearing Half A Million Dollars

The real estate market in Massachusetts is adapting to COVID-19, according to the Warren Group, which on Wednesday released data showing the median-price for a single-family home shot up by 14.3% in August compared to the previous year.

Despite the all-time high median price of $480,000, home sales also ticked up in August, the Warren Group said. The 6,657 single-family home sales in Massachusetts last month represent a 0.8% increase from August 2019, as buyers continue to compete for a low inventory of homes and housing production legislation remains hung up on Beacon Hill.

The group said August marked the second month in a row that transactions and median sale prices both rose notably after a "lackluster second quarter due to COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown."

"Now that we have two consecutive months of data supporting the fact that homebuyers are shopping again, I think it's safe to say that the Massachusetts real estate market is adapting to a COVID-19 world," Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said. "For the second straight month, we saw the biggest upticks in single-family activity in Barnstable, Berkshire and the island counties, which could indicate that buyers are seeking second homes in safer rural areas of the state. Or perhaps some home buyers have found that working remotely is a viable option and are leaving the job centers in Greater Boston."

The House and Senate in July each agreed to a zoning reform that Gov. Charlie Baker has been pushing in hopes of spurring housing production. The language would lower the two-thirds approval threshold for certain zoning changes at the local level to a simple majority, and is tangled up in a larger economic development bill (S 2842, H 4887) that's been the subject of closed-door conference committee negotiations for about two months.

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