MAR President Rita Coffey Responds to the Boston Globe’s Home Energy Editorial

As a Realtor® who works with buyers and sellers every day and as the 2018 president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®(MAR), I strongly disagree with the Boston Globe’s editorial “Home energy audits can prevent sticker shock for home buyers.”

To be clear, MAR and its members support energy efficiency and actively promote the voluntary and successful Mass Save program.

An MPG sticker on a brand-new, factory-produced commodity like a car encourages the manufacturer to improve efficiency. However, a misleading score can penalize the homeowner, not the manufacturer. And unlike MPG or EnergyStar ratings on NEW cars and appliances, these government ratings would be applied to our very large supply of older existing homes in the state, and possibly stigmatize whole neighborhoods.

Buyers have always been empowered to have a home inspection, request utility bills and conduct an energy audit to learn about a home and make the sale contingent on the results of the audit or inspection.

Unfortunately, this bill will not improve energy efficiency. We need to incentivize, encourage and assist homeowners to make energy-efficient improvements and not mandate, confuse, and shame homeowners with policies that may strip equity and not result in energy improvements.

View the Boston Globe editorial by clicking here.

Government Affairs First Quarter Update

Massachusetts State House in Boston

The first quarter of 2018 saw housing issues take center stage in state government. The Senate announced its next two leaders, and mandatory energy scoring bills left and came back again all within just a few months. MAR is also excited to announce that Governor Charlie Baker will be the keynote speaker at the 33rd Margaret C. Carlson Realtor® Day on Beacon Hill on June 7. Continue reading

Housing shortage continues to affect Massachusetts economy

free fall of the stock market concept with pen and business chart

The UMass Donahue Institute reports the state’s economy slowed in the first quarter of 2018 and cites the lack of housing as an important factor. As the report states, “the challenge for Massachusetts going forward will be to address the housing, transportation, and infrastructure constraints that make it more difficult for the workers who will be needed to fill these positions to relocate to the state and meet the needs of growing employers. While this challenge is not new, the price of inaction is high and rising.” Continue reading

Median Price for Condos Rises Higher than Single-Family Homes in Massachusetts

Closed sales for both single-family homes and condominiums fell in March while median prices went up. The median price for condominiums in March was $10,000 more than single-family homes for the first time since MAR began recording the data in 2004. This is the fourth month in a row that the number of single-family homes for sale has been below the 10,000 mark, an unprecedented low number. Continue reading

Pending Median Price for Condos Rises Higher than Single-Family Homes in Massachusetts

The number of single-family homes put under agreement in the month of March increased over last year. The number of condominiums remained essentially the same. Median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums saw a hike year-over-year. The median price of a condominium was higher than the price of a single-family home. Continue reading