The cost of buying a house in Massachusetts, already one of the most expensive states in the nation, just keeps on going up.
The pattern continues
Bay State home prices rose again in April, and several Greater Boston suburbs posted some of the biggest gains.
The median price of a home in Massachusetts rose 3 percent from last year to $324,500, reports The Warren Group, which tracks home prices across the state.
Home sales fell 7.6 percent, but given that most of the initial purchase and sales agreements were inked in February amid record snowfall, with the final closings in April, the decline was likely a result of the extreme winter weather, said Timothy M. Warren Jr., The Warren Group’s chief executive.
Overall, a combination of strong demand coupled with a shortage of homes for sale has helped drive prices up, experts say. Newly built starter homes are somewhat of a rarity inside Route 128, and home building numbers are down in general across the state.
“Prices, though, continue to rise which tells us that the demand is there and the market is strong,’’ Warren said. “Lack of inventory is the biggest problem.’’
Some towns stand out
Home prices have risen across the state in the past 30 out of 31 months, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which issued its own report. And some communities with extreme price increases also saw big dips in the amount of homes for sale.
• Milton saw its median price rise 77 percent to $753,000. The number of homes for sale dropped by nearly 12 percent, according to MAR.
• Hingham saw its median price soar past $952,000. Meanwhile, homes for sale dropped 23 percent.
• Westwood saw a 42 percent increase, to $707,000, while the number of homes on the market lowered by 6 percent.
Arlington, Medfield, Framingham, Natick, Hopkinton, Needham, Lexington, Milford, Newton, North Andover, and Andover all saw price increases ranging from 12 to more than 30 percent. With a couple exceptions, most also saw the number of listings drop.
Condo sales are more varied
Meanwhile, condo prices fell statewide by 4 percent from last year to $305,000, with sales declining by 12 percent, according to the Realtors group.
However, a number of Boston area communities bucked that trend to follow the familiar growing-prices/falling-inventory arc instead, MAR finds.
• Newton: median condo price jumped 28 percent to $675,000, while the units on the market fell by 33 percent.
• Arlington: 15 percent jump in median condo price to $472,000, coupled with a 23 percent drop in the number of properties on the market.
• Brookline: median condo price rose 14 percent to $672,000, while the number of units for sale dropped by a quarter.
• Boston: median condo price rose 11 percent to $519,000, while listings fell 15 percent.