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BOSTON, April 28, 2011 – Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts took a dive in March – a stark contrast from the booming real estate activity in the state a year ago, according a new report by The Warren Group.

Single-family home sales declined 14.4 percent to 2,704 in March from 3,159 in March 2010. Home sales in the first quarter also dropped more than 8 percent to 6,722 from 7,312 in last year’s first quarter. This is the third consecutive quarterly decrease in Bay State home sales, according to The Warren Group.

“The drop in home sales is another sign of continued weakness in the real estate market. Sales volume has decreased in seven of the past nine months,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. “The only bright spot in the data this month is that the month of March posted the highest number in sales volume so far this year – there were 2,304 and 1,714 sales in January and February, respectively.”

The median price for single-family homes sold in March slipped 2.8 percent to $267,250 from $275,000 a year earlier. It was the fourth consecutive month that monthly home prices have dropped year-over-year. The first quarter median selling price was $265,000, a 4 percent decrease from $276,250 in the first quarter of 2010.

“Median prices have been sliding for the past four months. This follows 12 straight months of gains in median prices – a further indicator that the market has lost its luster. Aggressive buyers are taking advantage of a slow market and making deals at lower prices,” Warren said.

Condominium sales in March dropped for the ninth straight month. Condo sales decreased 31.6 percent to 1,034 from 1,511 in March 2010. A total of 2,747 condo sales transactions were recorded in the first three months of the year, a more than 20 percent decrease from 3,445 a year earlier.

Sales of both condos and single-family homes in every county statewide decreased in March.

The median price for condos sold in March was $237,000, down almost 5 percent from $249,000 in March 2010. The first quarter median condo price also declined almost 2.5 percent to $237,000 from $243,000 during the prior year’s first quarter.