The high-priced Boston housing market has pushed many buyers to Western Massachusetts counties, causing those areas to record climbing prices on condos and single-family homes, according to figures released today.

Three Western Massachusetts counties experienced the largest median sales gains for condominiums and single-family homes during the past year, according to The Warren Group, a real estate and financial data provider.

The report detailed median single-family home and condo prices gains for each county in Massachusetts for the first 11 months of 2005 and compared to the same period in 2004.

Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties placed first, second and third on the list of highest percentage increases of median condo sales. Franklin saw its median condo price rise 28.9 percent to $179,000 in 2005; Hampden median prices jumped nearly 19 percent to $124,900; and Hampshire’s median price increased 18.2 percent to $175,000.

Hampden County ranked third, Hampshire County ranked fourth and Franklin County ranked fifth for largest percentage median single-family home sales price increase in 2005. Hampden jumped 13.3 percent to $170,000; Hampshire increased 10.9 percent to $243,850; and Franklin rose 10.3 percent to $183,000.

“Clearly these numbers show that the housing prices in Western Massachusetts have benefited from the high-priced Boston and eastern market,” said Alan Pasnik, data analyst for The Warren Group. “As people move out west to find better housing deals, the market prices have heated up.”

The rarified vacation island counties Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard (Dukes County) snared the two top spots for largest percentage median single-family home sale prices increasing from $1 million in 2004 to $1.4 million in 2005 for Nantucket and from $560,000 in 2004 to $650,000 in 2005 for Dukes, representing a 34.6 percent and 16.1 percent increase, respectively.

“The numbers indicate that demand for housing has pushed buyers out to the western counties where real estate is still affordable,” said Karl Case, a professor of economics at Wellesley College and a well-known real estate expert. “The higher percentage increases in condo sales in those regions indicate that many first-time buyers are entering the market in those areas.”

The median condo sale price for all of Massachusetts increased 9.4 percent from $215,854 in 2004 to $236,133 in 2005. The single-family home sales price increased 13.4 percent from $359,765 in 2004 to $408,125 in 2005.


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