WALTHAM, Mass. – April 12, 2011 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) today announced that the March REALTOR® Market Index (RMI) was up over 14 percent from February. This is the fourth straight month-to-month gain. The REALTOR® Price Index (RPI) was up over 3 percent from February. Both indexes continue to be down from the same time last year.
“REALTORS® who responded to the survey are feeling more and more positive each month as we head into the spring real estate market,” said 2011 MAR President Laurie Cadigan, broker/owner of Barrett & Company in Concord. “While we can feel the momentum building, we continue to keep an eye on the economy and potential changes in the secondary mortgage market and to the mortgage interest deduction coming out of Washington DC that could negatively impact the market.”
In March 2011, the REALTOR® Market Index was 32.09, which was up 14 percent from the February 2011 score of 28.06. This is the fourth straight month-to-month increase. On an annual basis, the March RMI was down 19.78 percent from the 40.00 score in March 2010. This is the tenth straight month that the year-over-year RMI has gone down, but it is also the smallest decrease since June of last year when the RMI was down 25 percent. 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.
In March 2011, the REALTOR® Price Index was 48.69, which was up 3.68 percent from the February 2011 RPI of 46.96. This is the second straight month-to-month gain. On an annual basis, the RPI was down 8.38 percent from the March 2010 RPI of 53.15. This is the ninth straight monthly year-over-year decrease.
When REALTOR® members were asked about what type of impact iPads/tablet computers would have on the real estate industry, 64 percent responded that they would have either a significant positive impact (13%) or some positive impact (51%). Thirty-five percent thought they would have no change on the industry, while one percent thought there would be some negative impact. No respondents thought iPads/tablets would have a significant negative impact on the real estate industry.
About the REALTOR® Index Methodology:
The Massachusetts REALTOR® Market Index (RMI) and Price Index (RPI) 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.
1. How would you describe the current housing market?
2. 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 RMI 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 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 19,000 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.
Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.