REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: December 2018 Highlights

REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: December 2018 Highlights

The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI)[1] survey gathers monthly information from REALTORS® about local real estate market conditions, characteristics of buyers and sellers, and issues affecting homeownership and real estate transactions.[2] This report presents key results about market transactions from December 2018. View and download the full report here.

Market Conditions and Expectations

  • The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 48 (66 in December 2017).[3]
  • The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 39 (47 in December 2017).
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index—SixMonth Outlook Current Conditions registered at 59 for detached single-family, 48 for townhome, and 46 for condominium properties. An index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve.
  • Properties were typically on the market for 46 days (40 days in December 2017).
  • Seventy-five percent of respondents reported that home prices remained constant or rose in December 2018 compared to levels one year ago (90 percent in December 2017).
Realtors Buyer and Seller Traffic Indices

Characteristics of Buyers and Sellers

  • First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of sales (32 percent in December 2017).
  • Vacation and investment buyers comprised 13 percent of sales (16 percent in December 2017).
  • Sales of distressed properties (foreclosed or sold as a short sale) accounted for two percent of sales (five percent in December 2017).
  • Cash sales made up 22 percent of sales (20 percent in December 2017).
  • Twenty-two percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for closing costs (10 percent), providing warranty (9 percent), and undertaking remodeling (3 percent).[4]
First-Time Buyers As Percentage of Residential Sales

Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers

  • From October–December 2018, 75 percent of contracts settled on time (71 percent in December 2017).
  • Among sales that closed in December 2018, 74 percent had contract contingencies. The most common contingencies pertained to home inspection (54 percent), obtaining financing (45 percent), and getting an acceptable appraisal (42 percent).
  • REALTORS® report “interest rate” and “low inventory” as the major issues affecting transactions in December 2018.
REALTOR® CONCERNS

About the RCI Survey

  • The RCI Survey gathers information from REALTORS® about local market conditions based on their client interactions and the characteristics of their most recent sales for the month.
  • The December 2018 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s more than 1.3 million members through simple random sampling and to 9,600 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
  • There were 5,886 respondents to the online survey which ran from January 2-11, 2019. The survey’s overall margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is one percent. The margins of error for subgroups and sample proportions of below or above 50 percent are larger.
  • NAR weighs the responses by a factor that aligns the sample distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR membership.

The REALTORS® Confidence Index is provided by NAR solely for use as a reference. Resale of any part of this data is prohibited without NAR’s prior written consent. For questions on this report or to purchase the RCI series, please email: Data@realtors.org


[1] Thanks to George Ratiu, Managing Director, Housing and Commercial Research and Gay Cororaton, Research Economist for their data analysis and comments to the RCI Report.

[2] Respondents report on the most recent characteristics of their most recent sale for the month.

[3] An index greater than 50 means more respondents reported conditions as “strong” compared to one year ago than “weak.” An index of 50 indicates a balance of respondents

who viewed conditions as “strong” or “weak.”

[4] The difference in the sum of percentages to the total percentage of sellers who offered incentives is due to rounding.

Properties Typically on the Market for Longer Days in November 2018

Properties Typically on the Market for Longer Days in November 2018

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 42 days (36 days in October 2018; 40 days in November 2017), according to the  November 2018  REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1]  Properties are staying longer on the market due to slower demand with mortgage rates rising and with new home construction steadily, though modestly, rising. During September–November 2018, properties typically stayed on the market for 31 to 45 days in California, Oregon, Arizona and Texas, a slower pace compared to less than one month in previous months (Map 1). However, properties continue to sell in less than 31 days in the District of Columbia (28 days) and in 16 states such as Washington (28 days), Nevada (28 days), Utah (23 days), Colorado (26 days), and Massachusetts (27 days).   Properties typically stayed longer on the market in September-November 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 (blue areas) in the District of Columbia and in 22 states such as California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Texas (Map 2). Properties are staying longer on the market due to the combination of lower demand and the steady increase in new home construction.  In states such as California, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the number of building permits increased during November 2017-October 2018 compared to the prior 12-month period (Map 3).  
[1] In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations.
In Which States Did Properties Sell Most Quickly in August 2018?

In Which States Did Properties Sell Most Quickly in August 2018?

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 29 days, just a day shorter time compared to one year ago (30 days), according to the  August 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] This indicates that in many states, the supply of homes for sale is still inadequate compared to the demand for homes. However, the difference in median days in the current month compared to the same month last year has started to narrow as homebuying demand has eased and the inventory of homes for sale has slightly increased. In January and February of this year, properties were selling about one week less compared to the length of time in the same period one year ago.

During the June–August 2018, properties typically sold within one month in 32 states and in the District of Columbia. Properties sold most quickly in the states of South Dakota (19 days), Washington (20 days), Colorado (21 days), Utah (21 days), Ohio (21 days), Idaho (22 days), Massachusetts (21 days), and Rhode Island (21 days).

 

Based on listing time on Realtor.com[2], properties sold more quickly in 385 out of 500 metro areas (77 percent)—still most of metro areas, but fewer than the number of metro areas that had year-on-year faster selling time in August 2017 (405 metros). Compared to the median days on market one year ago, properties sold more quickly in August 2018 even in the high-price areas of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara, San Francisco-Hayward, and San Diego-Carlsbad.

 

Scroll down the list of metro areas in the interactive table below or hover over the map to view the median number days properties were listed on Realtor.com in July 2018 and one year ago.

 


About the Realtors® Confidence Index Survey

 

The RCI Survey gathers information from REALTORS® about local market conditions based on their client interactions and the characteristics of their most recent sales for the month. The August 2018 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s1.3 million members through simple random sampling and to 8,386 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses. There were 4,639 respondents to the online survey which ran from September 1-11, 2018. NAR weights the responses by a factor that aligns the sample distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR membership. The REALTORS® Confidence Index is provided by NAR solely for use as a reference. Resale of any part of this data is prohibited without NAR’s prior written consent. For questions on this report or to purchase the RCI series, please email: Data@realtors.org.

 

[1] In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations.

[2] To access Realtor.com data, go to https://www.realtor.com/research/data/.

 

 

In Which States Did Properties Sell Most Quickly in April 2018?

In Which States Did Properties Sell Most Quickly in April 2018?

Amid strong demand and tight supply, REALTORS® reported that properties that sold in April 2018 were typically on the market for 26 days, down from 29 days compared to the same month last year, according to the  April 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] The median days on market have been broadly on a downtrend since 2011 when the properties typically were on the market for three months from May 2011, when this question was first asked in the RCI Survey, through March 2012.

During the February–April 2018, properties typically sold within one month in the District of Columbia and in 23 states led by Washington (21 days), Utah (21), Nevada (22), California (22), and Colorado (22), Oregon (24), Kansas (24), and Indiana (24).

 

Amid fewer listings for sale in many areas, properties continued to sell at a faster pace in many metro areas, based on the days the properties were listed on Realtor.com. Properties sold most quickly in California, Washington, Utah, and Colorado, particularly in the metro areas of Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara, CA (19 days), San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (24 days), Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (25 days), Salt Lake, UT (28 days), Ogden-Clearfield, UT (29 days), Colorado Springs, CO (30 days), Midland, TX (30 days), Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA (30 days), Denver-Aurora-Lakewood (31days), and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC- MD-VA-WV (31 days).

Use the data visualization below to view the median number days properties were listed on Realtor.com in April 2018.[2]


[1] In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations.

[2] To access Realtor.com data, go to https://www.realtor.com/research/data/.

 

REALTORS® Expect Prices to Increase to Nearly 4% in Next 12 Months

REALTORS® Expect Prices to Increase to Nearly 4% in Next 12 Months

In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® asks members “In the neighborhood or area where you make most of your sales, what are your expectations for residential property prices over the next year?”

Among the REALTOR® respondents who responded to the January 2018 survey, the median expected price change for the next 12 months was 3.6 percent, according to the  January 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] In December 2017, the median expected price change was 3.1 percent. Strong buyer traffic amid low supply of homes coming into the market continues to push up home prices. In January 2018, the median price of existing homes sold rose to $240,500, up six percent from one year ago.

The map below shows the median expected price change of the respondents in the next 12 months at the state level based on surveys conducted during November 2017—January 2018. The highest median expected price growth of more than five to seven percent was in Washington, Nevada, and Wyoming.

In Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida, the median expected price growth was four to five percent. REALTORS® reported stronger buyer traffic in these states compared to one year ago, based on the RCI Buyer Traffic Index, while the number of homes for sale has remained essentially unchanged, based on the RCI Seller Traffic Index.

In states with high property tax rates or property prices, such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California—states which are the most affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that put a cap on total itemized deductions property and state and local taxes — the median expected price change among respondents was two to three percent.[2]

expected

Lack of supply amid strong buyer interest continues to push prices up. At the metro area level, data on the number of active listings on Realtor.com indicates how serious the lack of supply is. Of the 500 metro areas tracked by Realtor.com, active listings are lower compared to one year ago in 395 out of 500 metro/micro areas, 80 percent. Areas in red show active listings are lower compared to one year ago, while areas in blue have more active listings.

exp prices


[1] To increase the number of observations for each state, NAR uses data from the last three surveys.

[2] To note, the median expected price change is based on data collected from October—December 2017, while the Trump administration released its proposed tax measures only in November 2017, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017, so October survey responses may not factor in the effect of tax reform measures on price expectations.

 

REALTORS® Reported Strong Buyer Demand and Tight Supply in December 2017

REALTORS® Reported Strong Buyer Demand and Tight Supply in December 2017

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents are asked “Compared to the same month last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” Respondents rate buyer traffic as “Stronger” (100), “Stable” (50), or “Weaker” (0) and the responses are compiled into a diffusion index. An index greater than 50 means that more respondents reported “stronger” than “weaker” conditions.

The chart below shows buyer traffic conditions in October–December 2017 compared to conditions one year ago, according to the  December 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index SurveyExcept for four states, REALTORS® reported that buyer conditions were “stable” (unchanged) to “very strong” compared to conditions one year ago.[1] Respondents from Texas and Florida, states which were hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, generally reported “strong” buying activity compared to one year ago. On the other hand, Alaska, North Dakota, Louisiana, and West Virginia respondents generally reported “weak” buyer traffic compared to one year ago, and this may be related to the effect of the slump in oil prices since 2015, though oil prices have started to firm up again in 2017 as OPEC cut its oil production.

 buyer traffic

Supply conditions in October –December 2017 is improving but supply is still tight, with only 26 states having seller traffic conditions that are “stable” (unchanged) or “strong” compared to conditions one year ago.  Most of the states with stable or improving seller activity in October-December 2017 are in southern area of the United States.

seller traffic

Nationally, the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 66, while the REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index was at 47. An index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported stronger than weaker conditions compared to one year ago, so the data indicates that homebuying demand continues to outpace supply.

The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index as Leading Indicator of Contracts and Sales

The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index is a leading indicator of future contracts (pending home sales sales) and closings (existing home sales). The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index tends to lead pending home sales by one month and existing home sales by two months. The uptick in the November and December 2017 Buyer Traffic Index indicates a continued uptick in sales on a month-to-month basis in January and February 2018.

indicies btrci buyer2 month


[1] In generating the indices, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. For graphical purposes, index values from 25.01 to 45 are labeled “Weak,” values of 45.01 to 55 are labeled “Stable,” values of 55.01 to 75 are labeled “Strong,” and values greater than 75 are labeled “Very Strong.”

 

 

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