BY THOMAS GRILLO
LYNN — Sales of single-family homes in Lynn doubled last month making it the best April in more than a decade.
“The last time we sold this many houses in April was 2005,” said Eugene Clements, the broker-owner of Clements Realty Group. The number of Lynn single-family homes sold a month ago reached 53, up from 26 one year ago, a 104 percent increase, according to The Warren Group, the Boston-based real estate tracker.
As sales rose, so did prices. The median price for a single-family home climbed to $280,000, a 1 percent increase over $268,000 for the same month a year ago.
Condominium sales also took off in April. A total of 19 condos sold last month, up from 14 a year ago, a 36 percent increase. The median price of a condo climbed to $200,000, a 5 percent hike from a year ago when the median was $193,750.
Rising rents are turning tenants into homeowners, Clements said. Lynn rents have risen by 20 percent over the last few years. A one-bedroom is fetching $1,000 and a two-bedroom is getting as as much as $1,300, he added.
“Rents are through the roof,” he said. “I can sell someone a home with a mortgage that is lower than rent.”
The other factor driving sales is soaring prices in tonier North Shore communities. Buyers looking on the north of Boston once excluded Lynn are now considering the city as they are priced out of places like Lynnfield, Danvers and West Peabody, he added.
Darlene Gray, a broker at Exit Elite Realty, said the lack of inventory is also boosting sales.
“Buyers are fighting to get into houses because there are so few,” she said. “When a new house is listed in Lynn, there are a 100 buyers ready to look.”
At press time, MLS Property Information Network listed 60 single-family homes for sale in Lynn and three dozen condos. Brokers say that number has been twice as high in the past.
Single-family homes also did well in Peabody where sales rose by 20 percent, while median prices were flat at $370,000. In Revere sales rose by 27 percent and the median price swelled to $308,500, a 7 percent hike.
But not every North Shore community did well in terms of sales. In Marblehead, sales dipped by 20 percent,while prices continued to increase. The median price for a single-family swelled to $555,000, up 11 percent compared to April of last year at $500,000.
In Lynnfield, sales and prices were off. Sales fell by 14 percent and the median slipped by 9 percent to $582,500. In Saugus, sales dipped by 15 percent while the median rose to $398,751, a 24 percent rise.
Swampscott sales were flat at 15 as median prices increased by a whopping 25 percent to $488,000.
Nahant didn’t have any sales last month.
Statewide, single-family home sales in Massachusetts rose by 34.7 percent in April. There were 4,278 homes sold in April, compared to 3,176 in April 2015.
The median sale price of a single-family home in Massachusetts in April increased by 3.9 percent to $336,850 from $324,250 last year.
“Sales are soaring,” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, in a statement. “Buyers are out in force while prices remain below their peak in many communities. And threats of rising interest rates are pushing everyone to close their deals soon.”
Thomas Grillo can be reached at [email protected]