BOSTON, November 29, 2011 – Sales of Massachusetts single-family homes increased again in October, rising to 3,189 from 2,992 a year ago, according to the latest report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

This is the fourth straight month of year-over-year sales increases. However, the past two Octobers have been the worst on record since October 1990, when 2,946 sales were recorded.

A total of 31,737 homes have sold statewide so far this year, down almost 9 percent compared to 34,823 during the same period last year.

“Four months of increasing sales volume is a good sign for the real estate market and an indication of improving consumer confidence,” said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “However, there is no getting around the fact that the market is still slow and sales will be lower in 2011 than either of the previous years.”

The median price of single-family homes dropped almost 7 percent to $270,000 in October, down from $289,900 a year earlier. The median price for homes sold January through October was $293,000, a near 1.7 percent decline from $298,000 in the prior year.

“Prices have held steady in the past few months, so a near 7 percent drop in prices is a bit unexpected,” Warren said. “It could indicate buyers are pursing bargains and not encountering much competition.”

Condominium sales statewide dropped even further in October. A total of 1,039 condos sold in October, a 12.1 percent drop from 1,182 sold a year earlier. Year-to-date condo sales fell close to 20 percent, decreasing to 12,337 from 15,340 during the same period last year.

The median condo price held steady in October. The median selling price was $257,000, up 1.5 percent from $253,070 a year earlier. The year-to-date median price of condos in the Bay State is $275,000, up almost 4 percent from $265,000 a year ago.