image 12 Dec 2018

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November Market Report


The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the number of homes put under agreement in the month of November rose two percent over the last year, marking a full year of year-over-year increases.

Pending condo sales for the month fell over last year. From November 2017, the median price for pending homes saw over a four percent hike to $397,000 and condo sales saw a smaller one percent hike to $375,000. November’s "Hot Topic" question found that the legalization and presence of retail marijuana stores has had a neutral impact on real estate transactions.


November Pending Sales

Homes November 2018 November 2017 % Change
Total Sales 4,126 4,036 + 2.2%
Median Price $397,000 $380,000 + 4.5%

Pending sales have been up for the past 12 months.

Condos November 2018 November 2017 % Change
Total Sales 1,510 1,572 - 3.9%
Median Price $375,000 $369,000 + 1.4%

Pending sales have been down or flat 5 of the last 12 months.


"Thanksgiving preparations and Black Friday shopping didn’t stop home buyers from finding time in November to make offers on single-family homes," said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth, MA. "Even though prices are ticking closer to the $400,000 mark, with pending sales being up for the past 12 months, home buyers are showing us that the demand is still there."


REALTOR® Market & Price Confidence Indexes

Confidence Index November 2018 November 2017 % Change
Market 53.90 76.06 - 29.17%
Price 53.46 69.32 - 22.88%

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.


"Confidence indexes are still positive, but have decreased significantly from last year, likely because of high prices, no inventory, and interest rates continuing to tick up through November," said Coffey.


Monthly Hot Topic Question


The November "Hot Topic" question asked REALTORS® if the legalization of recreational marijuana and presence, or possible future presence, of retail marijuana stores has impacted their real estate transactions.


Of those who responded, two percent reported that the current or future presence of retail marijuana stores has seen a positive impact or a significant positive impact on their clients. A larger 77 percent of REALTORS® reported that there has been a neutral impact. Of those who reported neutral, roughly one-sixth have had the topic come up during discussions with their clients. Another 10 percent have seen a negative impact (8%) or a significantly negative impact on their buyer and seller transactions (2%).


"Even though many REALTORS® have not seen any positive or negative impact thus far, we will continue to observe the rollout of retail stores and how it might potentially affect the real estate industry," said Coffey.


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 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.