From the Banker & Tradesman

Single-family median home prices in Massachusetts fell 18.2 percent during the first quarter compared to the same period in 2008, marking the steepest percentage decline for any quarter since The Warren Group began tracking prices in 1987.

The median price for homes sold during the first three months of 2009 fell to $253,500 from $310,000 in the first quarter of 2008. The March median home price was $255,000, or 16.1 percent lower than the $304,000 median price recorded in March 2008. Monthly median home prices have been falling by double-digit percentages year-over-year since last September.

Median condominium prices in Massachusetts in the first quarter also posted the sharpest decline for any quarter since The Warren Group started recording price changes 22 years ago. The median condo price fell 16.9 percent in the first quarter to $220,100 from $264,900 during the same months in 2008. The March median condo price was down 15.2 percent to $229,000 from $270,000 in March 2008.

A total of 2,802 condos were sold from January through March, nearly 27 percent lower than the 3,832 condo sales transactions recorded during the same months in 2008. Condo sales in March totaled 1,135, a 22.3 percent decrease from 1,460 a year earlier. Condo sales have fallen by 20 percent or more for 12 out of the last 15 months.

In the neighborhoods of Boston, volume is certainly down, but prices in many locations have actually increased. Back Bay is one example of a neighborhood bucking the trend. MLS statistics show:

Back Bay Median Price

1/1/09-4/29/09: $840,000

1/1/08-4/29/08: $675,000

This is also happening in several other Boston areas, so don't expect to get 10-20% off asking price, especially if the property is priced accordingly and it just came on the market.