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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

  • Massachusetts Pending Home Sales and Median Price Up Again in June

    The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that single-family pending home sales were up over nine percent in June from last year. Pending condominium sales were also up more than 12 percent. The median price for both single-family homes and condos saw a hike, with the single-family median price rising over the $400,000 mark. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices dipped slightly in June. This month’s “Hot Topic” question finds that the majority of Realtors® surveyed have had at least one transaction that was an all-cash deal (i.e. no mortgage involved) since the beginning of the year.

    June Pending Sales: 

    Single Family June 2017 June2016 % Change
    Sales 6,723 6,128 9.7%
    Median Price $410,000 $380,000 7.9%
    • Pending sales have been up 51 of the last 52 months 
    Condominium June2017 June2016 % Change
    Sales 2,596 2,307 12.5%
    Median Price $370,000 $349,900 2.9%
    • Pending sales have been up or flat 20 of the last 22 months 

    “The increase in homes put under agreement this month may be a positive sign for a spring market that has suffered plummeting inventory,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “However, median prices have continued to rise, which can push some buyers out of the market.”

    Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

    Confidence Index June2017 June2016 %Change
    Market 80.73 80.97 -0.29%
    Price 71.79 73.87 -2.82%
    • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index went down for the first time in 27 months
    • The Realtor® Price Confidence Index went down for the first time in six 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  

    “The Realtor® Market Confidence Index has dipped year-over-year for the first time in over two years, indicating that Realtors® are growing concerned about some of their buyers being able to succeed in this market,” said Yorkis. “However, both indexes reveal that ultimately Realtors® remain positive. We just need to see more inventory to keep up with the demand.”

    With home inventory being as tight as it is, you want to give yourself every advantage if you are thinking of buying a home in Massachusetts. For the best possible experience, be sure to work with an agent who is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents.