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

Buyer Demand Continued to Push Pending Home Sales Up in February

by Eric Berman | Mar 11, 2014
Contact: 781-839-5507 or via email

Historical Pending Home Sales Data

WALTHAM, Mass. March 11, 2014 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the real estate market continued its strong start to 2014 as pending home sales for both single-family homes and condominiums went up again in February compared to the same month in 2013.  Pending sales figures (also called homes under agreement) are a leading indicator of actual housing sales in Massachusetts for the following 2-3 months.
 
“The snow and cold of last month didn’t dampen buyer demand as pending sales increased again in February,” said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. “With the economy improving and interest rates still favorable, qualified buyers made enough accepted offers to make this February the most active since February 2004.”
 
The number of single-family homes put under agreement in February was up 20.4 percent compared to the same time last year (3,587 homes in 2014 from 2,980 homes in 2013). This is the 12th straight month of year-over-year increases. This is the most homes put under agreement in February since 2004 when there were 3,612 homes. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement went up 13.8 percent compared to 3,151 homes put under agreement in January. “Sellers should be encouraged by the continued strong buyer demand,” said Ruffini. “This trend will hopefully, help increase the inventory of homes for sale in the coming spring market. With values on the rise, it’s a good time to sell for more homeowners now than at any time in the past five years.”

The median sales price of single-family homes put under agreement in February was $295,600, which was up 7.5 percent from $275,000 in 2013. On a month-to-month basis, under agreement median prices were down 7.7 percent from $320,000 in January.
 
In this market, REALTORS® are cautioning homeowners about the decision to increase the size of the home they’re in rather than moving to a larger home. “Over-improvement can result in houses that are out of step with the neighborhood, won’t recoup the investment and/or will permanently remove affordable homes from the stock available for first-time buyers,” said Ruffini.
 
The number of condos put under agreement in February was up 17 percent compared to February 2013 (1,533 units in 2014 from 1,310 units in 2013).  This is the most number of condos put under agreement in February since 2007 when 1,777 units were put under agreement. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement went up 7.9 percent from 1,421 units in January.
 
The median sales price of a condo put under agreement in February was $282,500 which was up 8.9 percent from $259,450 in 2013. On a month-to-month basis, under agreement median prices were down 5.9 percent from $300,000 in January.
 
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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Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.