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

Pending Home Sales See Another Bump in October as Prices Remain Near $400,000 Mark

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

WALTHAM, Mass. – November 14, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that single-family pending home sales rose over two percent this month from October of last year, with prices rising close to five percent. Pending condominium sales were also up, rising more than two percent over last year, while prices increased slightly. Realtors® confidence in the market was up again in October, while confidence in prices dropped slightly over last year. This month’s “Hot Topic” question asks Realtors® how open house attendance has been this fall.

October Pending Sales: 

Single Family

October 2017

October 2016

% Change

Sales

5,181

5,055

2.5%

Median Price

$395,900

$378,750

4.5%

  • Pending sales up for 11 out of the last 12 months

Condominium

October 2017

October 2016

% Change

Sales

1,895

1,854

2.2%

Median Price

$349,000

$345,000

1.2%

  • Pending sales up for nine out of the last 12 months

“It again is clear that buyer demand has not slowed since this summer, despite prices steadily hovering near $400,000,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “We will have to see if the consistent rising of pending sales will continue into the winter and the new year.”

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

Confidence Index

October 2017

October 2016

%Change

Market

72.24

70.18

2.95%

Price

67.86

68.86

-1.46%

  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index up for the 29th time in 30 months
  • The Realtor® Price Confidence Index down for the fourth time in 12 months
  • 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  

“Realtors® are still confident in the market this fall because buyers are still making offers,” said Yorkis. “However, there is some trepidation about prices remaining this high into the winter.”

Monthly ‘Hot Topic’ Question:  

The October “Hot Topic” question asked Realtors® how open house attendance has been this fall. Of those who responded, 30 percent said that this fall has been busier than usual, while another 30 percent reported about the same attendance as usual. Twenty-one percent of respondents said that open house attendance has been weaker than usual for the fall. Almost six percent said that’s been the busiest they’ve ever seen, while a remaining four percent said it’s the weakest attendance they’ve seen for the fall season.

 “Many of our members reported busier-than-usual attendance for open houses over the summer,” said Yorkis. “We wanted to see if that trend would continue into the fall, but it seems that at least in some areas that activity is slowing down. 

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, the 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.