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REALTORS® Confidence Index

June 22, 2015

The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions. In addition, the "Questions of the Month," feature results of a timely aspect of the housing market.

 

Highlights

  • For the fifth month in a row, the REALTORS® Confidence Index-Six-Month Outlook was viewed as strong by more respondents than those that viewed the market as weak.
  • First-time homebuyers accounted for 32 percent of sales, up from 27 percent a year ago and 30 percent in April 2015.
  • Inventory, though improving, remained tight relative to demand, so properties typically sold within 40 days nationally.
  • Distressed properties remained at 10 percent of sales, purchases for investment purposes at 14 percent of sales, and cash sales at 24 percent of sales.

Respondents noted several issues weighing down the market’s momentum:

  • Tight inventory
  • Financing issues: difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage due to higher FICO credit score and downpayment standards, protracted mortgage approval process
  • Appraisal issues: conservative estimates, use of “out-of-town appraisers,” slow turnaround
  • TRID regulations that may delay closing/settlement of transactions
  • Dampening effect of higher interest rates in the future (although anticipation of higher rates can spur demand in the short-term)
  • Declining demand from international buyers due to a strong U.S. dollar
  • Lack of FHA-approved condominiums