More affordable prices, low mortgage interest rates and maybe some pent up demand resulted in Massachusetts home buyers signing many more purchase and sale agreements in 2012.
Massachusetts pending single-family home sales increased 15.6 percent in December 2012 compared to the previous December, the 20th straight month of such increases, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported January 8, 2013.
For all of 2012, pending single-family home sales jump 25 percent compared to 2011. Pending home sales, also referred to as homes "under agreement," are an indication of potential sales the following one to three months. Of course, not every home under agreement closes, so actual numbers may vary a bit.
The number of single-family homes put under agreement in December increased from 2,648 homes in 2011 to 3,062 homes in 2012. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement declined 21 percent compared to 3,861 homes put under agreement in November. The month-to-month decline isn't a surprise given the holidays.
The number of condominiums put under agreement in December was up 5.6 percent compared to December 2011 (1,019 units in 2011 to 1,076 units in 2012). December also marked the 20th straight month of year-over-year increases for condos. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement decreased 25 percent from 1,440 units in November.
There were a total of 48,064 single-family homes put under agreement in 2012, up 25 percent compared to 38,502 single-family homes put under agreement in 2011. The number of condominiums put under agreement in 2012 jumped 26 percent compared to 2011 (14,893 units in 2011 compared to 18,706 units in 2012).
The increased real estate activity also has reduced the homes for sale inventory around the Bay State.
A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is 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 record the deed. MAR compiles pending sales data from multiple listing services each month.