Condominium sales in Massachusetts surged in 2005 while the number of single-family home sales tumbled, according to a report appearing in the Feb. 6 issue of Banker & Tradesman, a financial and real estate newspaper published by The Warren Group.

Condo sales climbed 12.14 percent last year, while single-family home sales in the Bay State fell 7.6 percent, according to the report. Median home prices climbed 5.5 percent — a stark contrast to the steady double-digit price appreciation for homes recorded in recent years.

A total of 63,350 single-family homes and 34,672 condos were sold in Massachusetts in 2005, according to The Warren Group, which provides real estate and financial data throughout New England.

“These figures clearly show that despite price increases, single-family home sales are on the decline in Massachusetts, while condos are becoming more and more attractive to first-time buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “The market is showing a correction to the unprecedented home-sale gains Massachusetts has seen over the past few years.”

The majority of single-family and condo sales occurred in Middlesex County, at 12,895 and 8,798 respectively, which can be attributed to its strong concentration of high-tech employers and its relatively close proximity to the Boston area. The median price for a single-family home in Middlesex County was $425,000, and the median condo price was $299,615.

Worcester County, which had a median single-family home sale price of $269,900, had the second-largest number of single-family home sales for 2005 at 8,886. The second-greatest number of condo sales — 7,963 — occurred in Suffolk County, where the median condo sale price was $340,000.

“This has clearly been the year of the condominium for Massachusetts real estate buyers,” said Terry Egan, editor in chief of Banker and Tradesman. “Massachusetts, like other areas of the country, experienced a phenomenal growth in real estate prices over the past few years, especially in single-family homes, but eventually price outstripped demand and a correction was inevitable. Those who couldn’t afford to buy homes turned to condos.”


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