Pending Sales Increases Continue from Busy Winter into the Spring Market

Realtors® confidence in the market has been up for nearly two years

WALTHAM, Mass. – April 18, 2017 – (RealEstateRama) — The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that the spring market is off to a good start with pending sales up over six percent from this time last year. Pending sales have been up 48 of the last 49 months. Condominiums put under agreement also saw a hike over last year, with an increase of over 14 percent from 2016. The median price for both single-family homes and condos also saw a boost. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in March. This month’s “Hot Topic” question finds that proximity to public transportation may be at the top of the list of priorities for buyer and seller clients.

March Pending Sales:

Single Family March2017 March2016 % Change
Sales 5,848 5,491 6.5%
Median Price $350,000 $328,375 6.6%
  • Pending sales have been up 48 of the last 49 months
Condominium March2017 March2016 % Change
Sales 2,414 2,107 14.6%
Median Price $335,000 $309,700 8.2%
  • Pending sales have been up or flat 18 of the last 19 months

“Pending sales can be a good predictor of future closed sales, so an increase like this is always encouraging to see at the start of the spring market,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway.

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:

Confidence Index March2017 March2016 %Change
Market 78.26 72.79 8%
Price 81.09 74.45 9%
  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index has been up or flat for 24 straight months
  • The Realtor® Price Confidence Index is up over the 80 mark for the first time since 2015
  • Measured on a 100-point scale, a score of 50 is the midpoint between a “strong” (100 points) and a “weak” (0 points) market condition

“The combination of increasing prices and ongoing buyer demand we’ve seen lately leads to higher confidence in the market,” said Yorkis. “Realtors® are feeling pretty good coming out of a very strong winter market despite the ongoing challenge of depleted inventory.”

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question: 

The March “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® how important a home’s proximity to public transportation is to their buyer and seller clients.

“Whether people are looking to be more ‘green’ or they just don’t want the hassle of driving all the time, being close to public transportation is a benefit that buyers and sellers are often looking for in a home,” said Yorkis.

About the Data Sets:

The tracking of signed purchase and sales agreements (also called “pending sales”) provide reliable information about where the real estate market is heading in coming months.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” happens when the buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.  MAR is the only organization, which compiles this statewide information from Multiple Listing Services each month.

Monthly pending (or under agreement) data and closed sales data comes from the three Realtor®-affiliated Multiple Listing Services in Massachusetts. They are the Berkshire County Multiple Listing Service, Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service, Inc.; and MLS Property Information Network, Inc. The data is compiled by 10K Research and Marketing, Inc. and updated each month. As a result, the previous data may change after the reports have been run.

The REALTOR® Index Methodology – The Massachusetts Realtor® Market Confidence Index (RMCI) and Price Confidence Index (RPCI) are based on monthly responses from a random sampling of Massachusetts Association of Realtors® members on the state of the housing market.  More specifically, the survey asks members two basic questions pertaining to the real estate business in their market area in Massachusetts.

  • How would you describe the current housing market?
  • What are your expectations of home prices over the next year?

In addition to these standard questions, the survey each month includes one wildcard question that changes each month and is based on an industry hot topic.

The RMCI is calculated in the following way.  Respondents indicate whether conditions are, or are expected to be “strong” (100 points), “moderate” (50 points), and “weak” (0 points).  The results are the average score for each question.  A score of 50 is the threshold between a “strong” and a “weak” condition.  Similarly, the question about home prices over the next year (Realtor® Price Confidence Index) is calculated using five categories: “Rise 0-5%” (75 points), “Rise 5%+” (100 points), “Level” (50 points), “Fall 0-5%” (25 points), and “Fall >5%” (0 points).

About the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®: 

Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® is a professional trade organization with more than 24,000 members.  The term Realtor® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of Realtors® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.

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