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REALTORS® Confidence Index

October 20, 2016

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.

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  • While local conditions vary, the buyer traffic index, an indicator of homebuying interest, was higher than last year's level, indicating better market conditions from one year ago.
  • The seller traffic index also rose slightly from one year ago, but it has remained below 50 since September 2008, indicating that seller activity is still "weak."
  • First-time homebuyers rose to 34 percent of sales, up from 29 percent one year ago.
  • Distressed properties dipped to a new low of four percent of sales. Purchases for investment purposes made up 14 percent of sales, and cash sales accounted for 21 percent of sales. Nationally, amid tight supply, half of properties that sold in September 2016 were on the market for 39 days or less compared to 49 days one year ago.
  • Lack of supply, declining affordability, appraisal issues, and lender processing delays continued to be reported as the key issues affecting sales.