The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the number of homes put under agreement in the month of March increased over last year. The number of condos remained essentially the same. Median prices for both homes and condos saw a hike year-over-year. The median price of a condo was higher than the price of a single-family home. Despite inventory remaining at inventory at historically low levels, REALTORS® are not seeing their clients use seller contingencies any more than usual.
March Pending Sales
|Homes||March 2018||March 2017||% Change|
|Total Sales||5,345||5,257||+ 1.7%|
|Median Price||$369,950||$350,000||+ 5.7%|
Pending sales have been up 10 of the last 12 months.
|Condos||March 2018||March 2017||% Change|
|Median Price||$390,000||$335,000||+ 16.4%|
Pending sales have been up 10 of the last 12 months.
"Condominiums are typically the cheaper option for those looking to own their first home or trying to downsize," said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth. "I think this just goes to show how difficult it is to afford a home in Massachusetts."
REALTOR® Market & Price Confidence Indexes
|Confidence Index||March 2018||March 2017||% Change|
|Median Price||75.58||81.09||- 6.8%|
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.
"REALTORS® confidence in price has slipped a bit since last year, but buyer demand has kept the REALTOR® Market Confidence Index high." said Coffey.
Monthly Hot Topic Question
The March "Hot Topic" question asked REALTORS® whether their clients are seeing/using/agreeing to seller contingencies (i.e. home purchase contingency), especially with inventory at historically low levels. Of those who responded, 36 percent reported that either seller contingencies are being used less frequently (21%) or much less frequently (15%). Another 35 percent said that seller contingencies are being used no more or less frequently in this market. A remaining 29 percent reported that contingencies are either being used more frequently (20%) or much more frequently (9%) in this market.
"The expectation is that the low inventory might make a seller more prone to use a contingency clause based on their ability find a home themselves," said Coffey. "After all, people need a place to live. These results suggest that one in three REALTORS® are seeing these seller contingencies used more often."
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.