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Mass. Home Sales Dip; Low Inventory Blamed

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The 13-month string of rising home sales in Massachusetts skidded to a halt in February, as sales dipped 5 percent, the Warren Group reported Tuesday morning.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR), in its report, also found sales dropping 5 percent, compared to February 2012's level.

"Two factors caused this modest drop in February: low inventory and a comparison with a strong previous year of sales," Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a statement. "Even so, I'm still hopeful for a strong spring market. As more sellers list their homes in the spring, activity will pick back up."

The median home sale price in February surged more than 12 percent above February 2012, to $275,000, the Warren Group found; MAR found the median price at $278,000.

"With such low inventory, we're seeing bidding wars — homes selling above the asking price," Warren said. "As prices rise, more sellers will begin to list their property which in turn pumps up sales volume."

With reporting by State House News Service and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on March 26, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.