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Mass. housing sales reach 8-year high

BOSTON — More single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts last month than in any September in the past eight years, two organizations that track the real estate market reported on Tuesday.

Driven by still-low interest rates and more qualified buyers, as well as a short supply of homes on the market, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and The Warren Group said that median prices have also surged, up to pre-recession levels in some communities.

“Twenty-six communities are now above their pre-crash high for median price and others are closing in on previous highs,” said Timothy Warren Jr., chief executive of the Boston-based Warren Group, a publisher of real estate data.

The 4,358 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts last month was 16 percent higher than September 2012, he said, and the most since September 2005.

At the same time, the median price jumped 16 percent to $323,625, The Warren Group reported.

The Realtors reported 4,289 closed sales in September, up more than 17 percent from September 2012. A nearly 12 percent jump in the median price to $325,000 was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

“September closed sales and prices was another example of buyer demand outpacing housing supply and that resulted in the most closed sales in a September since 2005,” said President Kimberly Allard-Moccia. “Interest rates are still low and qualified buyers are still there, but what we need now to get to full recovery is those sellers who are holding off, to make the commitment to sell.”

Condominium sales showed similar improvement, both organizations said. The Realtors group reported a 19 percent jump in year-over-year sales, and a nearly 8 percent boost in median prices.

The Warren Group reported a more modest jump in sales of about 12 percent, and a 7 percent spike in median price.

The two organizations use slightly different numbers in making their calculations.

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