image 14 Feb 2018

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January Market Report

Denis Tangney Jr., iStock


The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that buyers continued to come out and make accepted offers on homes in the first month of the year. Median prices for both houses and condos increased year-over-year. Pending condo sales dropped slightly to start out 2018. REALTORS® reported that the newly-signed tax reform law has had a neutral impact on their clients' decision to buy or sell a home.


January Pending Sales

Homes January 2018 January 2017 % Change
Total Sales 3,393 3,217 + 5.5%
Median Price $369,000 $354,900 + 4.2%

Pending sales have been up 8 of the last 12 months.

Condos January 2018 January 2017 % Change
Total Sales 1,365 1,408 - 3.1%
Median Price $354,950 $334,500 + 6.1%

Pending sales have been up 10 of the last 12 months.


"Buyers continue to come out in force and make offers on homes in Massachusetts this winter," said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth. "This demand, in combination with historically-low inventory, only pushes prices higher. This is why we continue to support legislation that will produce more housing for all types of buyers."


REALTOR® Market & Price Confidence Indexes

Confidence Index January 2018 January 2017 % Change
Market 74.52 69.63 + 7.0%
Median Price 73.81 75.19 + 1.8%

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.


"Buyer activity kept REALTOR® confidence in the market high to start out the new year," said Coffey. "However, continued rising prices put a slight dent in REALTOR® price confidence as some buyers struggle in this market."


Monthly Hot Topic Question


The January Hot Topic question asked REALTORS® if the newly-signed tax reform law is impacting their clients' decision to buy or sell a home. Of those who responded, 84 percent said the new tax reform law has had a neutral impact. Another 11 percent reported that the new law has had either a negative impact (8%) or a significant negative impact (3%). A remaining five percent reported that tax reform has had a positive impact (3%) or a significant positive impact (2%) on clients' decisions.


"While the final bill is an improvement for homeowners when compared to earlier House and Senate versions, there are still concerns that need to be addressed," said Coffey. "Most notably, the limit on state & local tax deductions will hurt homeowners in high tax states like Massachusetts."


About the Data Sets


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.