Pending home sales across the state rose strongly in March, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported.  According to MAR’s March Future Indicators Report, there was a 14.4 percent increase in accepted offers for single family homes since same time last year. The median price of accepted contracts was up to $320,000, from $314,063 in March 2014.

March single family pending sales rose to 4,836 compared with 4,226 in March 2014.

Condominium pending sales also rose, up 12.1 percent to 2,135 in March 2015, compared with 1,905 in March 2014.

“While Massachusetts was still covered with snow in March, homebuyers were out there and made offers that were ultimately accepted,” 2015 MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald, broker-owner of Fitzgerald Real Estate in Greenfield, said in a statement. “We know that as the temperature rises, so will the amount of offers being made this spring.”

Despite the increase in pendings, agents’ confidence in the strength of the market dipped slightly in March; year-over-year, MAR’s confidence index has been down 15 of the past 16 months. In March, MAR’s Realtor Market Confidence Index fell 0.5 percent compared with the same time last year, to 69.18 from 69.5 in March 2014. However, Realtors were less worried about prices continuing their rise, with the Realtor Price Confidence Index slipping 1 percent to 78.88 in March compared with 79.69 in March 2014.

However, the trade group pointed out, March 2015 is the highest the RMCI has been since March 2014, and the fourth time the RPCI has been at 70 or above since August 2014. Index numbers greater than 50 indicate belief in strong market conditions.

“Pent up buyer and seller demand from the winter has lifted the overall confidence level of Realtors when it comes to the market and prices as we head full on into the spring market,” said Fitzgerald.

MAR also surveyed its agents on the question of whether the brutal winter of 2014-2015 had made condo purchases more appealing to their clients, since condo owners often escape the shoveling and roof-raking required of single-family owners. Of the agents who responded, 62 percent indicated that the record snow had not sparked an increase in discussion of the topic of condo living. However, 30 percent of the respondents reported the record winter did make a difference, with 3 percent of agents reporting that most of their clients discussed it and 27 percent reported that the discussion happened more than normal. Finally, 8 percent of the respondents indicated that their buyer and seller clients didn’t differentiate between living in a single-family home or condo, just that they wanted to move to a warm climate and skip winter altogether.

MAR: Pending Home Sales Rise In March, A Hopeful Sign For Spring

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min