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

Confidence in Prices Continued to Surge Higher in February as Market Confidence Still Down from Last Year

by | Mar 20, 2014
‘Green’ features not a driving force for buyers/sellers according to survey respondents

WALTHAM, Mass. – March 20, 2014 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the February REALTOR® Market Confidence Index (RMCI) was down for the fourth straight month in February. The REALTOR® Price Confidence Index (RPCI) continued to stay strong as it went over the 80-point mark for only its third time in the history of the Index. The results of the February “Hot Topic” question showed that over 75 percent of REALTOR®-members who responded were not involved in a deal where “green” features were one of the key factors in the sale.
 
“With strong buyer demand and low inventory, REALTORS® continued to feel confident about home prices in February,” said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. “While confidence in the market was down compared to last year, it is moving in a positive direction on a month-to-month basis.”
 
In February 2014, the REALTOR® Market Confidence Index was 62.79, which was down 13 percent from the February 2013 score of 71.82. This is the fourth straight month that the RMCI has gone down. On a month-to-month basis, the February RMCI was up five percent from the 59.8 score in January 2014. This is the first time the RMCI has gone up over the 60-point mark since October 2013. 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 Confidence Index was 80.81 in February, up 16 percent from the February 2013 RPCI of 69.55. This is the 25th straight month of year-over-year increases and the 12th straight month over the 70-point mark and third time over the 80-point mark. On a month-to-month basis, the RPCI was up five percent from the January 2014 RPCI of 76.96.
 
The monthly “Hot Topic” question asked REALTOR®-members for the number of deals they have been involved with in the past year where “green” features (i.e. homes with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient building materials and systems) were one of the key factors in the buy-sell decision. Of those members who responded to the survey, 76 percent were not involved in any transactions where “green” played a significant role. Nineteen percent were involved in 1-2 transactions, four percent were involved in 3-5 transactions and two percent were involved in 6-10 transactions or more that “green” features were a significant factor.
 
“Although we are seeing growth in both construction of homes with ‘green’ features and existing homes with ‘green’ features being added, the survey results show that there are other factors in the buying/selling process that are more important when it comes to closing the deal,” said Ruffini.

About 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.
 
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 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 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.