The median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts declined 12 percent in April compared to the same month in 2007, The Boston Globe reported May 28, 2008.
The Warren Group, a publisher of real estate data, provided the statistics for the report.
"Warren Group reported 3,215 single-family sales in Massachusetts in April, down from 3,654 last year. The median price fell to $305,000, from $346,750 last year. Both drops were about 12 percent."
The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) also reported that single-family sales involving a real estate agent dropped 15.8 percent and the median price fell 8.7 percent. The number of sales reported by MAR was the smallest for April since 1995, according to The Globe.
"Some of Boston's nearby suburbs continue to buck the trend. Median prices are up so far this year in Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, and Needham, for example."
The Massachusetts communities hit hardest by the housing slump include Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence and Lynn.
As for condos, The Warren Group reported that sales fell 22 percent in April, compared to the same month last year, and median prices fell 3.6 percent.
The contraction of the mortgage market appears to be the reason for the continued poor housing market, according to The Globe article.
"It's not the economy. Job losses or wage stagnation are the most common causes of a housing slowdown, but the Massachusetts economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate during the first three months of the year, according to the University of Massachusetts. That's about five times the national rate."
As a whole, the Greater Boston housing market continues to do better than the nation.
"The most widely respected index of home prices, the S&P/Case-Shiller index, reported yesterday that Boston's housing slump completed its 30th month in March, as prices fell a steep 5.9 percent, compared to the same month last year. Prices now have fallen 13 percent from the peak of the local market in September 2005."
In other major markets prices were down 14.4 percent since last year, and more than 20 percent since the peak of the market, according to Case-Shiller.
Some industry experts believe the Case-Shiller numbers are more accurate. The Case-Shiller data are reported one month behind The Warren Group's numbers. The Warren Group calculates the median price for home sales, which can be skewed by unusual sales volume of homes in a particular price category. Case-Shiller bases its index on a comparison of repeated sales of the same homes, considered a more stable measure of price trends.