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

Buyer Demand Keeps Pending Sales Strong in January

by Eric Berman - eberman@marealtor.com - 781-839-5507 | Feb 14, 2017

Majority of Massachusetts Realtors® Do Not Use Virtual Reality or 3-D Tours in Marketing Homes 

 WALTHAM, Mass. – February 14, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that ongoing buyer demand pushed pending home sales up in January more than 10 percent compared to the same time last year. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in January. This month’s “Hot Topic” question finds that the majority of Realtors® in Massachusetts are not yet using 3-D, virtual or augmented reality technology in marketing homes. However, a significant portion (35 percent) have tried the technology on some of their listings, indicating that this is a burgeoning trend among agents. 

 January Pending Sales: 

Single Family

January2017

January2016

% Change

Sales

3,600

3,254

10.6%

Median Price

$354,000

$329,000

7.4%

  • Pending sales have been up 46 of the last 47 months 

Condominium

January2017

January2016

% Change

Sales

1,524

1,278

19.2%

Median Price

$330,000

$310,000

6.5%

  • Pending sales have been up 16 of the last 17 months 

“While the country seems to be in flux in so many ways, buyers are ignoring those distractions and pushing on to make offers on homes,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “The strong desire to live and work in Massachusetts is requiring buyers to be laser-focused on making the best offer they can when they finally find that home.”  

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

Confidence Index

January 2017

January 2016

%Change

Market

69.63

66.98

4%

Price

75.19

73.32

2%

  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the tenth straight month  

  • 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  

“This is the highest we’ve seen the Price Confidence Index since April of last year,” said Yorkis. “This, taken with the high confidence in the market, demonstrates that Realtors® are feeling positive for the coming year.” 

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question:  
The January “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® how often they had used (as a listing agent) or experienced a listing (as a buyer agent) that had 3-D/virtual reality/augmented reality technology included as part of its marketing mix. Of those Realtors® who responded, 63 percent reported that none of the homes had used 3-D/virtual reality technology in the marketing. Thirty-five percent of Realtors® responded that there was 3-D/virtual reality in some of the homes they had marketed themselves or experienced as a buyer agent. A remaining three percent responded that there was this technology in either all of the homes (2%) or most of the homes (1%).   

“Virtual reality and related technologies are still finding a market, so it’s no surprise we see the majority of Realtors® haven’t yet adopted the technology,” said Yorkis. “When clients start demanding these tech-forward experiences when buying or selling a home, Realtors® will be prepared.”  

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, 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.  

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