With inventory at historic lows, Realtors® report on how willing buyers have been to increase their search radius to find a home this year.
by Eric Berman - email@example.com - 781-839-5507
WALTHAM, Mass. – December 11, 2019 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in the month of November were up almost 17 percent while the number of condominiums put under agreement were up 18 percent compared to this time last year. This marks 12 straight months of year-over-year increases for single-family homes put under agreement. The median price for single-family homes put under agreement increased two percent to $406,204 while condominiums increased less than one percent to $382,975 compared to November 2018.
In response to the November ‘Hot Topic’ question, Realtors® reported that buyers were either willing to increase their search radius by up to 20 miles or not willing at all to increase their search radius to find a home in 2019.
“With Thanksgiving being so late this November, home buyers had some extra time to search for homes before they changed their focus to holiday shopping,” said 2019 MAR President Anne Meczywor, broker/associate at Roberts & Associates Realty, Inc., in Lenox. “Despite prices rising, buyers were actively making offers and they were being accepted.”
November Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:
“November marks the third straight month that we’ve seen the Realtor® Confidence Indexes improve over the same time last year and I feel good calling it a positive trend,” said Meczywor.
Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question:
The ‘Hot Topic’ question for the month of November asked Realtors® to report on how willing buyers have been to increase their search radius to find a home in 2019. Responses to the question were mixed. Some buyers were willing to look even 20 miles beyond where they originally wanted to be, but others were unwilling to compromise on location.
Almost 38 percent of respondents stated buyers were generally willing to increase their search radius by 5-10 miles. While 28 percent were generally willing to increase their search radius by 10-20 miles. Five percent responded that they were generally willing to increase their search radius by 20-30 miles, while less than one percent of respondents stated buyers were willing to increase their search radius by more than 30 miles. The remaining 26 percent of respondents reported that their clients were generally not willing to increase their search radius at all and were determined to find a home in the exact area they wanted.
“When we have so few homes for sale, finding the exact home you want can be more difficult. However, the search can be made easier when you expand your target area. But that isn’t an option all buyers want to take. It just means that the search can take longer, and it can be more competitive. Either way, the key is to stay focused and work with a local Realtor® to help you successfully navigate the process,” said Meczywor.
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.
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 25,000+ 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.