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The median sales price in Massachusetts hit $419,900 in August

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For the fourth straight month, the median price for pending single-family home sales remained above $400,000 in the state, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.

The median price was $419,900 last month, 7.1 percent higher than it was in August 2017. Despite a lack of inventory, the number of sales also rose, from 5,228 in August 2017 to 5,572 last month — a 6.6 percent increase.

“Vacations and hot summer days did not stop consumers from making offers on homes in Massachusetts this August,” said Rita Coffey, association president and general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth. “The strong buyer demand has kept the pending price of single-family homes well over the $400,000 mark.”

Condo prices saw the sharpest jump, going from a median of $349,000 in August 2017 to $385,000 — a 10.3 percent increase.

But are high prices the biggest obstacle first-time home buyers are facing? The association asked its membership to list the most common issues:

  • a shortage of starter homes (48 percent)
  • home prices (45 percent)
  • lack of a down payment (25 percent)
  • student loan debt (10 percent)
  • credit issues/financing (10 percent)
  • unstable job situation (less than 1 percent)

The percentage of realtors who reported a shortage of starter homes as the most common issue for first-time home buyers in Massachusetts increased from last year, when only 39 percent cited the issue.

“They can’t get a foot in the door without a solid inventory of affordable starter homes,” Coffey said.

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