In a further sign of an improving housing market in the Baystate, the number of single-family homes and condominiums that went under agreement in July jumped more than 33% compared to the same month last year. According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, this marks the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in pending sales. Those statewide increases are reflected in the western Massachusetts housing market as well. Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties averaged a 23% jump in July in the number of homes that went under agreement. That’s the eighth straight month of double-digit increases in pending sales, which are considered a leading indicator.
“That gives you a forecast as to what the next two months will look like in closed sales. It tells you what the activity is.”
Corrine Fitzgerald is the President of the Realtor Association of the Pioneer Valley. She says that market has been showing consistent growth since late last fall, with prices holding steady, increased sales volume and a balanced inventory supply. And interest rates remain at all-time lows. Fitzgerald says realtors are sensing more consumer confidence demonstrated by the increased numbers of so-called move-up buyers, those who sell their homes and buy larger, more expensive ones.
“We’re always going to have first time home buyers, we’re always going to have, unfortunately, death and divorce. And we’re also going to have retirees. But the piece of the market that’s critical to the market is the move-up buyer. The buyer that’s actually going to sell something and buy something. Because they’re kept typically in the middle to upper range in value. When you see those people actually moving in the market, then the market is showing signs of healthy growth.”
Connecticut’s housing numbers for July are not expected until later this week, but signs there show an improving market as well. The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors reported a 17% jump in pending sales in June over the same month a year ago.