Winter is generally a dead time in home sales. Some Boston realtors reported a strong market going into Christmas, with people rushing to make deals before the holidays hit. Many are also seeing an early start to the spring market, too.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re pulling out of the winter with a very strong showing,” says Adam Umina, Metro Realty’s sales manager. That means the property backlog has been cleared a bit, leveling the playing field for sellers after the buyer’s market of the last year or two.

“I do find that many buyers are still looking for ‘deals’ even though sellers have already adjusted their pricing to more realistic current market values,” says broker Michelle Easter, who owns RE/MAX Cityscapes. “I see an interesting buyer mentality, a testing of sorts to still find the bottom that is reflected by low offers being placed and sellers ultimately rejecting them.”

“Buyers are coming out of hibernation to take advantage of the great deals and still record-low interest rates,” agrees Umina. “The market has been picking up steam since the New Year, and it’s snowballing into a red-hot spring market.”

Where the market is strong

Downtown condo activity is particularly strong and stable. According to Joseph Laurano — who oversees Berkeley Investments’ residential development and marketing arm, ResMark — figures for this past October through December show the average price was up by more than 20 percent than comparable 2009 activity. Comparing 2010 to 2011 figures for Jan. 1 through March 9, however, shows transactions are down roughly 20 percent; but still, the price is up.

“Huge fluctuations due to seasonality, in my view, are somewhat of a myth,” says Laurano, who thinks the serious buyer or seller soldiers on. “The number of people looking may fluctuate, but the number of deals historically remains steady.”

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