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Trends in MA Real Estate

The Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents (MABA) monitors the state’s real estate market on a regular basis, identifying trends as they emerge and offering insights for prospective home buyers to help them make informed real estate decisions. As part of this effort, MABA issues a commentary – an analysis of market conditions and key factors driving prices – following the release of Massachusetts home sales data each month. Below are MABA's comments on this month's home sales data.

December's numbers and the year end compilation confirm that 2013 was a turnaround year for Massachusetts real estate, with all indicators showing a strong market. Despite an increase in the number of 2013 sales to numbers that almost rivaled 2005 and 2007's sales volume, strong buyer demand exceeded the available inventory for most of last year.

Throughout the year, the number of buyers continued to increase more than the inventory increased over the previous year. Since real estate is all about supply and demand, buyers bid prices up when competing with other buyers for the same home. We expected that buyer demand will exceed inventory well into 2014.

Here are the predictions for the 2014 real estate market from the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents:

  • Interest rates will most likely increase between 1/2 and 1 percent by the end of the year
  • Financing will be readily available to those who qualify, however, 10-20% of the buyers that were pre-approved in 2013 will not be able to meet 2014's revised secondary market lending guidelines
  • Private lenders will begin to emerge to fill the financing void for self employed borrowers and those that fall outside of secondary market guidelines
  • Prices will increase between 3 1/2 and 15 percent, depending on the neighborhood
  • Communities with the most desirable school systems will see the biggest gains in appreciation
  • Multiple offers will be the norm for properly priced and presented property listings through the first half of the year in much of the Greater Boston area
  • Outlying areas will see more buyer demand in 2014 than in 2013 as buyers expand their home searches into areas that are more affordable
  • New listings will continue to sell quickly if they are properly priced, presented and marketed
  • The demand for Greater Boston area investment property will continue to be very strong in 2014, however, many investors will become frustrated with the highly competitive buying market and will move their money into other investment vehicles that are easier and faster to purchase (i.e. stocks and bonds)
  • The state-wide volume of sales for 2014 will exceed the volume for 2013

Latest from the Blog

  • Pending Sales for Massachusetts Homebuyers Maintain Steady Year-Over-Year Increases for Almost Four Years This February

    WALTHAM, Mass. – March 14, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that ongoing buyer demand pushed pending sales up three percent over last year. Pending sales have been up 47 of the last 48 months, marking almost four years of positive gains in single family homes put under agreement. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in February. 

     February Pending Sales:  

    Single Family February 2017 February 2016 % Change
    Sales 3,967 3,852 3.0%
    Median Price $330,000 $309,000 6.8%
    • Pending sales have been up 47 of the last 48 months  
    Condominium February 2017 February 2016 % Change
    Sales 1,558 1,566 -0.5%
    Median Price $313,000 $290,000 7.9%
    • Pending sales have been up or flat 17 of the last 18 months  

    “Buyers have been tireless these past four years, showing that the desire to live and work in Massachusetts is strong despite dwindling inventory and rising prices,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway.  

     Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:  

    Confidence Index February 2017 February 2016 %Change
    Market 75.20 68.66 10%
    Price 77.00 75.70 2%
    • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the 11th 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 recording Market Confidence Index for the month of February since we began recording the data in 2008,” said Yorkis. “This speaks to the strength of the market this past year, as well as looking ahead to the spring market of 2017."