Updated May 25 at 10:14pm

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Mass. Realtors says sales agreements down

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WALTHAM, Mass. – The number of Massachusetts single-family homes put under sales agreement in 2011 declined 1.9 percent compared with the year before despite an eighth straight month of year-over-year gains in December, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said this week.

There were 46,477 pending home sales in 2011, down from 47,384 in 2010, the Association said. Pending sales include agreements between a buyer and seller over a property that have not necessarily closed.

In December, pending sales increased 11.7 percent compared with the same period in 2010, from 2,888 units to 3,227 units.

“The year ended on a positive note with eight straight months of pending sales increases,” said 2012 Association President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport. “People who made the decision to buy in 2011 were able to take advantage of lower prices and historically low interest rates to get into a home. If this trend continues, then the market could be on its way back to more normal levels.”

In other segments of the market, the total number of pending condominium sales in 2011 ended down 20 percent compared with 2010.

Like single-family sales, pending condominium sales also rose in December compared with the same period a year ago, in this case up 13 percent from December 2010.

Massachusetts single-family homes, realtors, Keller Williams Realty,

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