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BOSTON, April 24, 2012 – Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts rose by double-digit percentages in March -marking the strongest first quarter since 2007, according a new report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Single-family home sales increased nearly 20 percent to 3,205 in March, up from 2,688 in March 2011. Home sales in the first quarter are up 17 percent to 7,964 from 6,802 in last year’s first quarter. This is the third consecutive quarterly increase in Bay State home sales, and the strongest March since 2007 when there were 3,853 sales.

“Starting the year with a strong first quarter is a good indicator of things to come,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “After such a depressed year of sales in 2011, we’re likely to see more positive year-over-year comparisons in months to come. The market has a good head of steam built up right now.”

The median price for single-family homes sold in March slipped 3.3 percent to $260,000 from $268,750 a year earlier. It was the sixth consecutive month that monthly home prices have dropped year-over-year. The first quarter median selling price was $255,000, a 3.7 percent decrease from $264,700 in the first quarter of 2011.

“In studying patterns of previous housing slumps and recoveries, I’m not surprised median prices are continuing to drop,” Warren said. “Housing sales will continue to rise, but it will take several more months for median prices to follow.”

Condominium sales statewide in March rose for the second straight month. Condo sales increased 11.4 percent to 1,189 from 1,067 in March 2011. A total of 2,983 condo sales transactions were recorded in the first three months of the year, a near 8 percent increase from 2,766 a year earlier.

The median price for condos sold in March was $265,000, up more than 15 percent from $230,000 in March 2011. The first quarter median condo price was also up 6.7 percent to $250,750 from $235,000 during the prior year’s first quarter.