Realtor® Confidence—Single Family Real Estate Markets

Based on the latest monthly Realtors® Confidence Index, which summarizes the responses of over 3,600 Realtors® to a market survey, there has been some weakening in recent months in Realtor® overall confidence in the outlook for residential single family home markets. Compared to a year ago confidence is up, but in recent months the level of confidence in current or future market conditions has been declining. Realtor® confidence appears to coincide with the trends in the overall economy, which have been mediocre. Currently the Administration appears to be strongly focused on energizing economic activity. If these efforts at stimulating the economy are successful, we will probably see an upturn in Realtor® confidence.

What does this mean for your clients? Generally the well-known, successful investors buy low and sell high in the stock market—the exact opposite of what the rest of us do. In the case of residential real estate, nobody rings a bell to let us know when the housing market bottoms out, and the county has thousands of real estate submarkets. Many observers seem to have concluded that the residential real estate markets may be near their bottom in terms of price. Given that buyers hold on to a house for eight years or more, the current residential markets appear to offer some significant opportunities in terms of price, interest rates, and product availability.

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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