Pending home sales fell in February
The number of Massachusetts single-family homes put under agreement in February was down 17.6 percent compared to February 2010, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said today.
The association refers to that metric as pending sales. Pending condo sales in the Bay State were down 21 percent last month on a year-to-year comparison basis, the association said.
The association's pending sales analysis counts homes that have been put under agreement but are not yet completed sales. Often six weeks can elapse between the time a home is put under agreement and the time that the sale closes. In general, economists look at closed home sales when they seek to evaluate the condition of the market, but those data points can be several weeks old. According to the association, pending sales can sometimes give more of a real-time indication of where the housing market might be heading.
(Last week, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity, issued their monthly reports on the Massachusetts housing market. Those reports focused on sales that had closed in January. The consensus of those two reports: The Massachusetts housing market continued its struggle to gain traction as January sales rose solidly from a year earlier, but prices fell from their 2010 levels for the second month in a row. To read a Globe story about those reports, please click here.)
Today's press release on pending sales from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors included a statement from association president Laurie Cadigan.
“While lingering weather kept pending home sales down in February, Realtors across the state did see the number of prospective buyers asking to see homes go up the last two weeks of the month,” Cadigan said. “Hopefully the momentum from interested buyers at the end of February will continue and result in signed offers through the entire month of March.”