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REALTORS® Confidence Index

May 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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Highlights:

  • Market conditions vary across local markets, but the REALTORS® confidence and traffic indices indicate that overall housing market activity slightly improved in April 2016 from March 2015.
  • Compared to one year ago, housing market activity was essentially unchanged. REALTORS® reported strong demand in their areas, but severely low inventory has weighed heavily on sales, pushing prices up and making homes increasingly unaffordable, especially for first-time buyers.
  • First-time home buyers accounted for 32 percent of sales.
  • Purchases for investment purposes made up 13 percent of sales, while distressed properties were seven percent of sales.
  • Cash sales accounted for 24 percent of sales.
  • Nationally, half of properties that sold in April 2016 were on the market 39 days. Contracts that went into settlement in April typically took 40 days to close.
  • Very low supply, steep price increases, and lender processing delays were reported as the key issues affecting sales, particularly to first-time homebuyers.