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

REALTORS® Felt Strongly about Prices in March as Confidence in the Overall Market Remained in Positive Territory

by Eric Berman | Apr 15, 2014
Half of the REALTOR®-members who responded to survey have seen an increase in demand for accessible/single-floor homes

WALTHAM, Mass. – April 15, 2014 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the March REALTOR® Market Confidence Index (RMCI) continued to be in positive territory, but was down for the fifth straight month compared to the same time last year. The REALTOR® Price Confidence Index (RPCI) stayed strong in March continuing its two-year trend. The results of the March “Hot Topic” question showed that half of REALTOR®-members who responded have seen an increase in demand for homes that are accessible or designed for the owners to age in place with single-floor living.

“The continued lack of inventory of homes for sale is pushing the Price Confidence Index and the Market Confidence Index in opposite directions,” said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini, regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. “Sellers feel confident because of increasing prices, but their confidence diminishes when they transition into buyers faced with limited inventory to choose from.”

In March 2014, the REALTOR® Market Confidence Index was 69.50, which was down eight percent from the March 2013 score of 75.52. This is the fifth straight month that the RMCI has gone down. On a month-to-month basis, the March RMCI was up 11 percent from the 62.79 score in February 2014. This is the second straight month that 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 79.69 in March, up one percent from the March 2013 RPCI of 78.74. This is the 26th straight month of year-over-year increases and the 13th straight month over the 70-point mark. On a month-to-month basis, the RPCI was down one percent from the February 2014 RPCI of 80.81.

The monthly “Hot Topic” question asked REALTOR®-members to qualify the level of client demand for homes that are either accessible and/or designed for aging in place (i.e. single-floor living). Of those members who responded to the survey, 50 percent have seen an increase (42.5%) or a significant increase (7.5%) in demand for these types of properties. Forty-seven percent of REALTORS® who responded reported they have seen no change in demand, while three percent have seen a decrease (1.9%) or a significant decrease (1.3%) in demand for this type of housing.

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.