NAR_grey_logo-01

Current Confidence Index for Single-Family Homes Steady

The majority of REALTORS® continued to report rising home prices and improving days on the market.  However, REALTORS®   reported that  the market remains hampered by a “demanding and rigid loan qualification process”  that  has made mortgage underwriting  “a nightmare”  and “the toughest hurdle.” This has led to cash  buyers and investors easing out  first time buyers using mortgage financing.   Low inventory  persists and REALTORS® have reported homes selling above the list price.  Policy uncertainty on a variety of economic and and tax issues, mainly due to the tepid job growth and  measures to avert the the fiscal cliff  — continues to dampen  the market. Hurricane Sandy also caused a temporary market slowdown in the affected areas, although a recovery is anticipated in the coming months.

What Does This Mean for REALTORS®?

Concerns over the residential home sale market are probably reflective of  current economic uncertainties.  In fact, the home sales markets have been recovering in price and sales in many areas, and mortgage rates are low—although finding a mortgage may take a number of applications.  REALTOR® confidence is well above its level two years ago, and prices and sales are slowly increasing.  Assuming that the economy continues  and that the fiscal cliff issue is addressed — which is the assumption of most economists  —  one would expect a continued expansion of home sales.

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.

More Posts