The numbers are finally beginning to shift.

The Warren Group reports that home and condo sales in Massachusetts were down significantly in May, compared with last year’s sales. Blame it on the expiration of the federal tax credit, blah blah blah. But the interesting thing is that home and condo prices actually inched up a bit.

Tim Warren, head of the Warren Group, expects some more discouraging news over the next few months. But here’s the kicker: He thinks numbers will start trending “positive” later this year:

It’s been a tough start to the year as we’ve been comparing sales volume against the height of the home buyer tax credit. However, lending standards have also become more stringent, which is slowing the recovery in the real estate market. I expect that in the second half of the year, comparisons with 2010 will turn positive.

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