Media Contact: Eric Berman - 781-839-5507 - eberman@marealtor.com

Continuing Buyer Demand Pushed Pending Sales Up in May

by Eric Berman - eberman@marealtor.com - 781-839-5507 | Jun 13, 2017

Realtors® seeing clients’ ability to access financing as same as last year

WALTHAM, Mass. – June 13, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that single-family pending home sales were up over 11 percent in May from last year. Pending condominium sales were also up more than 12 percent this month. The median price for both single-family homes and condos continued to rise. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in May, with both indexes making slight gains over 2016. This month’s “Hot Topic” question finds that most Realtor’s® clients’ ability to secure financing remained the same as last year. 

May Pending Sales:
 

Single Family

May 2017

May2016

% Change

Sales

7,280

6,530

11.5%

Median Price

$385,000

$352,700

9.2%

  • Pending sales have been up 50 of the last 51 months 

Condominium

May2017

May2016

% Change

Sales

2,736

2,432

12.5%

Median Price

$370,000

$343,000

7.9%

  • Pending sales have been up or flat 19 of the last 21 months 

“The spring market is usually busy and this year is proving to be no exception so far, despite ongoing inventory shortages and increasing prices,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “Buyers have been willing to contend with the competition to get a home in this competitive Massachusetts real estate market.”

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

Confidence Index

May2017

May2016

%Change

Market

83.54

81.25

3%

Price

73.94

72.46

2%

  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index has been up or flat for 26 straight months
  • The Realtor® Price Confidence Index has been up for 5 straight months
  • 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® Market Confidence Index has been over the 80-point mark for the past two months because of an active spring market,” said Yorkis. “Buyer activity has so far fueled that confidence, but we need inventory to sustain it.”

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question:  

The May “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® how would they would describe their clients' ability to secure financing in the current lending environment compared to the same time last year. Of those Realtors® who responded, 64 percent reported that their clients’ ability to secure financing remained the same as last year. Almost 19 percent of Realtors® who responded said their clients had somewhat more difficulty this year. Fourteen percent reported that securing financing has become somewhat easier for their clients, while a three percent said it was significantly more difficult. Only a little more than one percent reported securing financing was significantly easier this year.

“Homebuyers’ access to financing has improved since the aftermath of the housing bubble, but most Realtors® surveyed think it has remained the same since last year,” said Yorkis. “We don’t know what the future will bring with the new administration, but there continues to be credit-worthy buyers who get turned down.”

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, the 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. 

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Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.