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Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts are on the rise as prices continue to fall.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports Monday that sales were up more than 17 percent in August when compared to the year-ago month, while median prices dropped about 4 percent to $315,000. The organization's president says sales are being driven by affordable prices and low interest rates.
The Boston-based Warren Group, a publisher of financial data, said sales were up 15 percent last month when compared to August 2010, while median prices fell just over 3 percent.
The organizations use slightly different calculation methods.
The Warren Group's Cory Hopkins said much of the increase is because home sales dropped last year after the expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit.
"So while on the surface it does look like a pretty healthy increase over last year, it's actually sort of where they're supposed to be," Hopkins said. "And given that last year was sort of a dismal summer after the tax credits expired, this is not the big splash that we want."
The organization cautioned that August 2010 was the slowest August in two decades.
"This year looks to be the first year in 20 years where we don't have 40,000 single family sales. So it's really shaping up to be a pretty weak year," Hopkins said.
But it was the second straight month for increased year-over-year sales.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors says that interest remains high among prospective buyers.
Both groups reported an increase in condominium sales.
The WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This program aired on September 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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