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

Massachusetts Pending Home Sales up 11 Percent in December to Close out the Year

by MAR Staff | Jan 13, 2014

Number of homes put under agreement in 2013 up again over the year before

 
WALTHAM, Mass. – January 14, 2014 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that pending home sales for both single-family homes and condominiums went up again in December compared to the year before.  For the entire year, the number of single-family homes put under agreement in 2013 was up 11.3 percent over 2012. Pending sales figures (also called homes under agreement) are a leading indicator of actual housing sales in Massachusetts for the following 2-3 months.
 
“2013 was a good, stable year of recovery for the real estate market,” said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co.  “We expect 2014 to be another good year. However, we need sellers to list their homes for sale to address the low inventory levels facing most areas right now.”
 
The number of single-family homes put under agreement in December was up 11.4 percent compared to the same time last year (*2,808 homes in 2013 from 2,521 homes in 2012). This is the tenth straight month of year-over-year increases. This is the most homes put under agreement in December since the data has been tracked. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement went down 26.9 percent compared to 3,843 homes put under agreement in November. This is the second straight month-to-month drop. A November-to-December drop is typical.
 
The median sales price of single-family homes put under agreement in December was $320,000, which was up 6.3 percent from $301,000 in 2012. On a month-to-month basis, under agreement median prices were down 1.0 percent from $317,000 in November.
 
The number of condos put under agreement in December was up 12 percent compared to December 2012 (*1,045 units in 2013 from 933 units in 2012).  This is the most number of condos put under agreement in December since MAR has been tracking the data. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement went down 32 percent from 1,537 units in November 2013. A decrease in the number of condos put under agreement from November to December is typical.
 
The median sales price of a condo put under agreement in December was $305,000 which was up 8 percent from $282,500 in 2012. On a month-to-month basis, under agreement median prices were up 3.5 percent from $294,835 in November.
 
Year-End Pending Sales:
There were a total of 52,382 single-family homes put under agreement in 2013, which was up 11.3  percent compared to 47,082 single-family homes put under agreement in 2012.  The number of condominiums put under agreement in 2013was up 15% compared to 2012 (21,205 units in 2013 from 18,437 units in 2012).  
 
About Pending Sales:
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” is 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.
 
The Data:
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.
 
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.
 
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*In May 2013, the largest Multiple Listing Service in Massachusetts made a change to the way it classified homes as “under agreement” (also called pending sales) which caused the May 2013 under agreement data to be wrong. With the assistance of our analytics partner, we have restored integrity to the under agreement data by appropriately reclassifying all affected listings historically and going forward.
 
Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.