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Housing sales in county  up for year

Recorder/Paul Franz
House for sale in Greenfield

Recorder/Paul Franz House for sale in Greenfield

Home sales have increased in Franklin County and across the state this year over last, reports the Boston-based Warren Group.

In Franklin County, sales of single-family homes were up nearly 18.5 percent in the first 11 months of this year, the smallest gain of any county, according to figures released by the real-estate-data publisher, which put the statewide increase at 22.2 percent.

The Springfield-based Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley also reported a 44 percent increase in November sales over those in November 2011, with a 20.6 percent decline in the median price of those 52 home sales during the month. The increase in home sales follows a nearly 58 percent rise in single-family home sales in October and a 15.2 percent hike in sales during the previous three months over a corresponding period last year.

“It’s been a very good year,” said Greenfield real-estate broker Corinne Fitzgerald, president of the three-county association. “We’ve definitely turned a corner. There have been increases each month through the year and a slight increase in sales prices, and almost every month we’re seeing double-digit increases in pending sales.”

Fitzgerald said there’s also been a steady decrease in how long houses are on the market before they’re sold, and added that the roughly seven-month supply of homes on the market means a slight move toward a seller’s market. Real-estate professionals consider the market “balanced when there is a supply of homes is between 7.5 and 8.5 months of inventory.

“All of the indicators are showing the market has seen a recovery in Franklin County, and through the entire valley not that different from what we’re seeing across the state,” said Fitzgerald. She credited continued low mortgage interest rates and the first-time-buyers’ tax credit for helping “jump start” the housing market and keep it going.

The Warren Group’s home-sale totals vary from those of RAPV because they include all transactions, including those not done through real-estate professionals, said Fitzgerald.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported that the number of single-family homes sold in Massachusetts as a whole last month jumped almost 30 percent from the same period in 2011, while median prices were up more than 3 percent.

The state association said November was the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year increases and the first time home sales topped the 4,000 mark in a single month since November 2004.

The Warren Group reported a 38 percent increase in home sales compared to November 2011, and a 2 percent hike in median prices.

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