The year 2012 ended on a high note. Based on information gathered from the December 2012 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the Current Conditions Confidence Index increased for all property types. The index for single family homes rose to 56 from from 32 a year ago, indicating a shift in expectations from “below moderate” to “above moderate”. An index of 50 means moderate conditions or expectations. The index for townhouses ended at 39 compared to 19 last year, while the index for condominiums was at 31 compared to 14 last year.
REALTORS® generally reported brisker sales, rising home prices, and shorter days on the market. However, the market recovery continued to be held back by low inventory and a tight and drawn out underwriting process, especially for shortsales. Appraisal issues, the modest pace of economic recovery and job growth, and the potential adverse impact of ‘fiscal cliff” measures and regulations on mortgage lending (e.g, Qualified Mortgage rules) were major concerns. REALTORS® also reported reduced activity in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy and concerns over the potential dampening effect of higher flood insurance rates.