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REALTORS® Broadly Reported Improving Markets in September 2015

Market conditions vary across local markets and states, but REALTORS® generally reported improved housing market conditions in September 2015 compared to a year ago, according to the September 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index survey report.[1]

Compared to August 2015, REALTORS® reported a seasonal slowdown which is normal at this time of the year. The REALTORS® Confidence Index – Current Conditions chart below shows that single-family homes index was 61, a level consistent with more respondents citing “strong” market conditions. The current reading was better than one year ago in spite of the slip from last month (66 in August 2015; 51 in September 2014). The indices for townhomes and condominiums were both up from a year ago; however, they were both below 50. An index reading below 50 indicates that more respondents viewed their markets as “weak” rather than “strong” or “moderate.”

REALTORS® continued to report on the difficulty of obtaining financing for condominium unit purchases because many condominiums are not FHA or GSE eligible.[2] Sustained job growth and low interest rates, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate back to less than four percent in September, were reported to be sustaining demand.

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[1] Respondents were asked “How would you describe the past month’s housing market in the neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?”

[2] FHA and the GSEs have financing eligibility criteria relating to ownership occupancy requirements, delinquent dues, project approval process, and use for commercial space. See the Statement of the National Association of REALTORS® Submitted for the Record to the Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs on December 9, 2014 at http://www.ksefocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/1/2180.pdf

Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics

As a Research Economist at NAR, Danielle studies tax issues, the wealth impact of home ownership, and different measures of home prices.

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