REALTORS® see inventory staying the same or going up in 2012
WALTHAM, Mass. – February 14, 2012 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) today announced that for the sixth straight month, REALTOR® confidence in the real estate market has gone up compared to the same time last year according to the January 2012 REALTOR® Market Index. The REALTOR® Price Index (RPI) in January was down slightly from 2011. Over 90 percent of REALTORS® responded that they see the number of homes for sale staying the same or going up in 2012.
“There was a nice jump in REALTOR® confidence about the January housing market compared to the same time last year,” said 2012 MAR President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport. “As long as we can continue to see increases each month, we have good reason to be optimistic about an eventual recovery.”
In January 2012, the REALTOR® Market Index was 31.9, which was up 51 percent from the January 2011 score of 20.1. The last time there was a stretch of six straight months of year-over-year increases was December 2009-May 2010. On a month-to-month basis, the January RMI was up 12.7 percent from the 28.3 score in December 2011. 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 REALTOR® Price Index was 46.0 in January, which was down less than 2 percent from the January 2011 RPI of 46.7. On a month-to-month basis, the RPI was down 5.18 percent from the December 2011 RPI of 48.51.
REALTOR® members were asked in January what they thought would happen with inventory levels (i.e. number of homes for sale) in 2012. Forty-six percent responded that inventory levels would increase (43%) or significantly increase (3%) in 2012. Forty-six percent reported that inventory would remain the same as it was in 2011, while 10 percent thought inventory would decrease (9%) or significantly-decrease (1%) in 2012.
About the REALTOR® Index Methodology:
The Massachusetts REALTOR® Market Index (RMI) and Price Index (RPI) 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.
1. How would you describe the current housing market?
2. 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 RMI 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 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 19,000 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 an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.