image 09 Aug 2018

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July Market Report

Jorge Salcedo, Shutterstock


The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the number of homes and condos put under agreement in the month of July experienced double-digit percent increases over the same time last year. The median price for pending home sales remained above the $400,000 for the third straight month. July's "Hot Topic" question found that the vast majority of Realtors® reported that their clients are concerned about finding a home to buy after they sell.


July Pending Sales

Homes July 2018 July 2017 % Change
Total Sales 5,832 5,075 + 14.9%
Median Price $423,250 $395,000 + 7.2%

Pending sales have been up or flat 12 of the last 13 months.

Condos July 2018 July 2017 % Change
Total Sales 2,133 1,869 + 14.1%
Median Price $398,950 $370,000 + 7.8%

Pending sales have been up or flat 11 of the last 13 months.


"Both buying activity and temperatures were hot in July as the number of homes put under agreement went up again," said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of Century 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth, MA. "This continued buyer demand has kept median prices above $400,000 for the third time in 2018."


REALTOR® Market & Price Confidence Indexes

Confidence Index July 2018 July 2017 % Change
Market 74.65 80.66 - 7.5%
Median Price 65.10 73.60 - 11.5%

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.


"Our Realtor® Confidence Indexes remain in positive territory," said Coffey, "but not having enough homes to buy and prices over the $400,000 mark have seen them come down from the same time last year."


Monthly Hot Topic Question


The July "Hot Topic" question asked REALTORS® how they would describe the majority of their sellers’ current attitudes to the home selling process, especially with housing inventory continuing to be at historically-low levels. Of those who responded, a majority (88%) said that their clients were either very concerned (47%) or somewhat concerned (41%) about finding a home when it’s time to buy. Another 11 percent responded that their sellers are not worried about finding a home. A remaining three percent said their sellers have taken their home off the market because they feel like they won't be able to find a home when it's time to buy.


"The reality of a low inventory market is that there may not be a home for you to move into right after you sell," said Coffey. "Understandably, many sellers are uncomfortable with that and are concerned about their prospects of finding a suitable new home."


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.