Massachusetts Pending Home Sales Higher in September
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Massachusetts Pending Home Sales Higher in September

Many Realtors® considering using drones after FAA regulations loosened 

WALTHAM, Mass. – October 14, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that the number of homes put under agreement in September were up close to 18 percent from last year. Condominium pending sales were also up over 22 percent as prices for both property types continue to go up. The strong market was reflected in high Realtor® Market Confidence and Price Confidence Indexes.

September Pending Sales:

Single Family September 2016 September 2015 % Change
Sales 5,769 4,902 17.7%
Median Price $350,000 $340,000 2.9%
  • Pending sales have been up 42 of last 43 months
Condominium September 2016 September 2015 % Change
Sales 2,056 1,681 22.3%
Median Price $334,000 $305,000 9.8%
  • Pending sales have been up for 13 of last 14 months

“Buyers didn’t use the start of school as an excuse to take a break from making successful offers on homes in September,” said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate on Cape Cod. “Demand will continue to be strong as long as inventory is low and buyers can continue to afford the ever-increasing home prices,” she said.

REALTOR® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:

Confidence Index September 2016 September 2015 % Change
Market 73.33 65.03 12.8%
Price 72.46 67.84 6.8%
  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the 19th straight month
  • 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    

“Both Realtor® Confidence Indexes were on the upswing last month, which is a positive indicator that Realtors® across the state felt the momentum continuing at the end of summer into fall,” said Blatz.

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question:
The September “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® what was their use of aerial photography and video now that the Federal Aviation Administration had loosened its restrictions of using drones. Of those who responded almost 48 percent said they had never used drone footage for their listings, but were considering it. Another 32 percent said that they don’t plan on using drone footage at all, while a remaining 19 percent have used drones for their business.

“The Federal Aviation Administration loosening its restrictions on drone use is good news for Realtors® who want to experiment with innovative technologies to sell real estate,” said Blatz. “This has been a long time coming and I’m sure there will be a lot of questions moving forward for those considering using drones, but we are excited for the future.”

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 ShowingTime/10K and updated each month. As a result, 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.

by Eric Berman – eberman (at) marealtor (dot) com – 781-839-5507

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