Massachusetts housing market is slowly stabilizing

Assessed home values are dropping in fewer Massachusetts cities and towns in the 2012 fiscal year, offering a glimmer of progress in the housing market’s slow recovery. The assessed value of the average single-family home dropped in 204 towns and cities, down from 266 communities that saw declines in fiscal year 2011.

This year’s tally is not final. Two dozen of the state’s 351 municipalities, including Plymouth, have yet to report figures for this fiscal year. Regardless, it is already clear that fewer towns and cities saw values drop compared to last year.

This marks the second year in a row of increases in the number of municipalities that saw improvements or stabilization in home values. “It’s consistent with our general sense of the slowly, very slowly, improving Massachusetts economy, and housing with it,” said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The housing market still has a long way to go, Widmer said. For starters, even while the number is declining, assessed values are still falling in more towns and cities than they are improving, according to Department of Revenue figures.