image 14 Mar 2018

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February Market Report

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the number of homes and condos put under agreement in the month of February increased over last year. Median prices for both single-family homes and condos saw a hike year-over-year as well. Half of the REALTORS® who responded to our survey reported that their clients are slightly worried about rising interest rates.


February Closed Sales

HOMES February 2018 February 2017 % Change
Total Sales 3,981 3,560 + 11.8%
Median Price $350,000 $327,200 + 7.0%

Pending sales have been up 9 of the last 12 months.

CONDOS February 2018 February 2017 % Change
Total Sales 1,668 1,415 + 17.9%
Median Price $350,000 $315,000 + 11.1%

Pending sales have been up 11 of the last 12 months.


"Despite inventory dipping below 10,000 homes the last few months, buyers were able to come out and make offers in February that pushed pending home sales up over last year," said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth.


REALTOR® Market & Price Confidence Indexes

Confidence Index February 2018 February 2017 % Change
Market 76.32 75.20 + 2.4%
Median Price 75.85 77.00 - 1.5%

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 competitive nature of low inventory and high demand is keeping REALTORS® confident in the market," said Coffey.


Monthly Hot Topic Question


The February "Hot Topic" question asked REALTORS® how they would describe their clients' concern with rising interest rates. Of those who responded, 50 percent said their clients are slightly worried about rising interest rates. Another 26 percent reported that their clients are not worried about the rates. A remaining 24 percent reported that their clients were either worried (18%) or very worried (6%) about rising rates.


"The expectation is that the growing economy will offset any damage done by raising interest rates," said Coffey. "Still, homebuyers on the ground are nervous they have enough cash to afford a home in our already high-cost state."


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, previous data may change after the reports have been run.


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.


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.


Editors and reporters: Please note that the term REALTOR® is properly spelled with capitalized letters and the registered trademark symbol, per the Associated Press Stylebook.