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REALTORS® Confidence Index

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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Highlights:

  • Market conditions vary across local markets and states, but the REALTORS® confidence and traffic indices indicate unchanged market activity in December.
  • Sustained job creation and the low interest rate environment appear to be sustaining housing demand, even as the lack of inventory and tight underwriting standards are constraining market activity.
  • The TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulations which came into effect on October 3, 2015 appear to have lengthened the closing period.
  • The share of first-time home buyers slightly rose to 32 percent of sales.
  • Properties typically were on the market 58 days nationally compared to 66 days a year ago, an indication that supply remains tight relative to demand.
  • Tight inventories, decreased affordability, and more stringent credit standards continued to be reported as key issues affecting sales, especially of first-time homebuyers.
  • Still, respondents were broadly "strongly" confident about the overall outlook for the next six months, especially in the single-family homes market.