Mass. pending home sales up in December

Today we released the pending sales data for December and after seven months the data is positive.  Actually, pending sales were up less than half a percent in November compared to the same time the year before too, but December is the first significant increase since pending sales last went up in April 2010 (which was the final month to qualify for the home buyer tax credit).

Read the release: Mass. Dec. 2010 Pending Sales

So what is a pending sale anyway?  Well, let me explain.  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 on the house and it be recorded as such.  The tracking of signed purchase and sales agreements provide reliable information about the direction the real estate market is heading in coming months.  Not every pending sale closes, but the typical time from when a home goes under agreement to when it closes is 60-90 days.

Here are the highlights:

  • Single-family pending home sales were up 5.3% compared to Dec. 2009
  • Single-family month-to-month pending home sales were down 15.2% from Nov. 2010
  • There were 2.5% fewer homes put under agreement in 2010 compared to 2009
  • Condo pending home sales were down 16% compared to Dec. 2009
  • Condo pending month-to-month home sales were down 16.4% from Nov. 2010
  • There were 6.7% fewer condo units put under agreement in 2010 compared to 2009