Realtor® Confidence Index – Buyer Characteristics

Based on the latest monthly Realtors® Confidence Index, which summarizes the responses of over 3,600 Realtors® to a market survey, all-cash buyers continue in the 30 percent range, probably reflective of the relatively high level of investor and second home buyers in the market. First time buyers were 32 percent of the market, down from the normally expected 40 percent market share. Purchasers providing a down payment of 20 percent or more were 35 percent of the total market, suggesting that higher down payment requirements could potentially have a significantly adverse impact on the bulk of the market.

What does this mean for Realtors®? Housing formations are expected to experience an upturn as the economy continues to recover. Coupled with recent declines in first-time buyers, the outlook is potentially for some increasing strength in the real estate markets in the future. However, we will probably need to see an expanded economic recovery in order for sales and prices to increase.

Jed Smith, Managing Director, Quantitative Research

Jed Smith is Managing Director, Quantitative Research with the National Association of Realtors®. He has worked on real estate issues for the past 20 years, providing input on a variety of housing, commercial real estate, tax, and planning issues. Recently he has been involved in several international studies.

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