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

The Number of Massachusetts Single-Family Homes Put Under Agreement Up in October

by Eric Berman - eberman@marealtor.com - 781-839-5507 | Nov 14, 2018

Realtors® Report Fall Open House Attendance Tamer This Year 

WALTHAM, Mass. – November 14, 2018 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in the month of October rose nine percent over the last year, marking a full year of year-over-year increases. Condominium pending sales fell over last year. From October 2017, the median price for pending single-family homes saw over a five percent hike to $390,000 and condominium sales saw a four percent hike to $353,000. October's Hot Topic question found fall open house attendance has been weaker than usual this year for most Realtors®. 

October Pending Sales: 

Single-Family

October 2018

October 2017

% Change

Sales

5,423

4,976

9.0%

Median Price

$390,000

$370,000

5.4%

  • Pending sales have been up for the past 12 months 

Condominium

October 2018

October 2017

% Change

Sales

1,916

2,024

-5.3%

Median Price

$353,000

$339,000

4.1%

  • Pending sales have been down or flat for four of the last 12 months 

“In between apple picking and leaf peeping, home buyers found time this October to make offers on single-family homes in Massachusetts,” said 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, general manager of CENTURY 21 Tullish & Clancy in Weymouth. “Prices remain close to that $400,000 mark despite the usual cooling off from the summer market.” 

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

Confidence Index

October 2018

October 2017

% Change

Market

57.14

72.24

-20.90%

Price

53.93

68.48

-20.53%

  • 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     

“Confidence in the market and home prices is still positive but waning most likely because of the uptick in interest rates and the ongoing dwindling inventory,” said Coffey. “However, buyers have demonstrated that the demand is still there.” 

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question: 

The October “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® how open house attendance has been this fall. 

Of those who responded, 41 percent reported that open house attendance has been either weaker than usual for fall (34%) or the weakest they’ve seen for the season (7%). Another 36 percent reported that fall open house attendance has been about the same. A remaining 13 percent responded that open house attendance has been either busier than usual (11%) or the busiest they’ve seen for fall (2%). 

“Open house attendance seems to have slowed down this fall for the many Realtors® who use open houses as a marketing tactic,” said Coffey.  

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. 

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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.