The number of single-family homes and condominiums placed under agreement in the Attleboro area jumped sharply in February, compared with the previous month and the same period last year.
Across 10 area communities, a total of 125 single-family houses were placed under agreement last month, up more than 50 percent from February 2009, according to the latest data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
The total was also up slightly from 79 homes under agreement in January.
Numbers of condominiums placed under agreement more than doubled from nine in February 2009 to 23 last month. A total of 16 condos made the list in January.
The statistics were compiled for pending sales over an area that includes Attleboro, North Attleboro, Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Wrentham, Plainville and Norfolk.
The "homes placed under agreement" category is a relatively new statistic that the statewide realtors organization began collecting about a year ago. The numbers differ from real estate sales statistics in that pending sales are a forward-looking category charting sales due to be closed within the next 45 to 60 days, association spokesman Eric Berman said.
Local real estate brokers say they're feeling an updraft of sales activity and cited continuation of federal tax incentives for homebuyers, low interest rates and a stabilizing economy.
"I'm in a much better place now that I was a year ago at this time," said Kurt Franklin of the Remax Realty Center in North Attleboro.
Statewide, the Realtors association reported that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in February was up 16 percent over the same period last year. Condos under agreement were up 25 percent.
February marks the eighth straight month that the number of both single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement has increased over the previous year.
"The only way we're going to get back to more normal market levels is to have buyers making the choice to purchase a home," said association President Kevin Sears, broker and co-owner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield.
"As the February numbers indicate, this is what is happening," he said. "Buyers are looking at the market conditions and evaluating them against the desire to own a home and are increasingly making the decision that now is the time."
Statewide, the number of single-family homes put under agreement increased from 2,999 homes in February 2009 to 3,489 homes this year.
On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement were up 25 percent from 2,791 homes in January.
The number of condos put under agreement in this year was up 25 percent compared with February 2009, from 1,147 units to 1,434 units.
On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement were up 20.1 percent from 1,194 units in January.