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"Local Realtors' confidence in the strength of the housing market is steadily improving, according to the latest monthly survey from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR).
The group's Realtor Market Index (RMI), which measures whether agents believe the market to be stronger or weaker, has gone up for the 13th straight month compared to the year before. In August, it measured 56.41. Scores over 50 indicate a strengthening market. That's a vast improvement over last August's scores, when the RMI measured 21.63.
"Regaining confidence in the market is a gradual process, but one that fortunately has been improving for 13 straight months," said 2012 MAR President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport in a statement. "The best way to ensure this upward trend continues is to increase the number of homes for sale. The only way that can happen is for homeowners who want to sell, but have held off, to make the decision to re-enter the market."
The vast majority of Realtors also expect further increases in home prices, with the association's Realtor Price Index (RPI) near all-time highs. The RPI measured 64.19 in August, which was up 61 percent from the August 2011 RPI of 39.92. This is the seventh straight month of year-over-year increases and the fourth straight month the RPI has been over the 60-point mark. On a month-to-month basis, the RPI was down 1.24 percent from the July 2012 RPI of 65.00.
Agents surveyed also thought that inventory levels would remain tight, with a plurality of respondents ----41 percent---saying that they thought inventory will be at the same level as today, while 37 percent thought inventory would somewhat increase over the next six months." B&T 9.18.2012