Sales of single-family homes were up 7 percent in Massachusetts last month, halting a half-year decline and giving some hope that the housing market is stabilizing, according to the Warren Group. Stats from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors show an even stronger uptick in July.

But don’t celebrate too much: The increase is due largely to the fact that the federal home tax credit expired at this time last year, triggering a dramatic fall in home sales in the second half of last year and making this year’s numbers seem higher by comparison.

Btw: Prices also dipped a bit last month. Still, at least we’re now seeing some positive movement in the sales numbers. Everyone had been talking during the first half of the year about how the tax credit skewed comparisons. Now those skewed comparisons are gone — and we can see there’s been a very slight improvement.

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