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Melrose Home Sales Down Due To Expired Home Buyer Tax Credit

The median sale price of a single-family home in Melrose is up, however, according to the latest figures from The Warren Group.

Melrose single-family home sales were way down in April compared to the same month last year—like single-family home sales across the state—but the drop is due to the home buyer tax credit that expired last year, according to the head of The Warren Group.

In April, 16 single-family homes sold in Melrose, compared to 28 in April 2010—a drop of more than 42 percent, according to the latest figures provided by The Warren Group. Statewide sales dropped 28 percent in April compared to the same month a year ago.

The reason for the big drop in April, Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a press release, is the tax credit included in the federal stimulus bill that required home buyers to sign a purchase contract on or before April 30, 2010 to qualify for the credit. First-time home buyers received an $8,000 tax credit and repeat home buyers received an $6,500 tax credit.

"The year-over-year numbers are dismal because we're comparing to the home buyer tax credit selling boom," Warren said in the press release. "We will likely see decreases until the summer."

Year-to-date, Melrose single-family home sales are down 14 percent—55 sold so far this year, compared to 64 sold through April of last year—while statewide year-to-date sales are down almost 16 percent. April marks the third consecutive month that sales volume decreased year-over-year, The Warren Group said; however, sales volume reached the highest level so far this year in April.

Melrose single-family home prices rise

While Melrose single-family home sales are down, the median sale price is up. In April, the median sale price was $411,500, a 6.8 percent increase over the $385,000 median sale price in the same month last year. Year-to-date, the median sale price is $402,500, a 1.6 percent increase over 2010's year-to-date sale price of $396,250.

Home values statewide haven't fared as well, dropping for the fifth consecutive month, although Warren said in the release that could be a boon for the market. The median price for single-family homes sold in April dropped almost 4 percent to $274,000 from $285,000 a year ago. This is the fifth straight month that median sale prices declined statewide. The median selling price for the first four months of the year was $270,000, 3.6 percent lower than the $280,000 median price recorded during the same period in 2010. 

"Dropping prices can lure buyers into the market. Hopefully that factor coupled with the spring buying season boosts the market a bit," Warren said in the press release.

 Condo sales also down in Melrose

Condominium sales are also down so far this year in Melrose. In April, five condos sold in the city, compared to seven in April 2010. Year-to-date, 16 condos have sold in the city, compared to 21 year-to-date in 2010, a 23.8 percent drop.

Statewide, condo sales fell almost 37 percent to 1,160 from 1,834 in April 2010. A total of 3,895 condo sale transactions were recorded in the first four months of the year, a 26 percent decrease from 5,279 the prior year. April marked the tenth consecutive month that condo sales declined. 

Melrose's median condo sale price did rise in April by 9.4 percent—from $225,000 last April to $246,100 this past April—and the statewide median condo sale price rose for the first time this year,  climbing 8.6 percent to $276,000 in April from $254,138 during the same month in 2010.

While the statewide year-to-date median condo price crept up 1.63 percent to $250,000 from $246,000, Melrose's condo prices are still down. The median sale price for a condo in the city so far this year is $222,950, a 15.8 percent drop from 2010's year-to-date price of $265,000.

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