Home Buying Conditions by State in January 2019

Home Buying Conditions by State in January 2019

Homebuying activity was essentially unchanged in January 2019 compared to one year ago, according to NAR’s January 2019 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered 52 in January 2019, just slightly above 50, a level that indicates no change in the overall direction of buyer traffic activity, One year ago, the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index was at 69, a level that indicates homebuying traffic was broadly stronger compared to conditions one year ago. A lower index in one month compared to the level in another month slower activity during that former month, so the steep decline in the value of the index from 69 to 52 indicates homebuying conditions have slowed significantly from conditions one year ago.[2] The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index has fallen below leads existing home sales by one to two months, so the January reading is an indicator of sales in the next one to two months.

Buyer traffic was broadly weaker during November and December 2018 and January 2019 compared to conditions one year ago in the District of Columbia and in states 16 states that included Oregon, California, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. However, buyer traffic conditions were broadly stronger during November and December 2018 and January 2019 compared to conditions one year ago in Idaho, Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index has hovered at near 50 since August 2018 when the index fell to 51 and remained at below 50 through December 2018. The January reading of 52 indicates a slight upturn in homebuyer traffic as mortgage rates started falling in January 2019.  As of the week of February 14, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.37 percent, from a high of 4.94 in the weeks of November 8 and 15.[3]

REALTOR® Comments

Higher mortgage rates compared to one year ago, the negative effect on confidence of the government shutdown, the cap on deductions for property, state, and local income taxes, and the very cold weather were some factors cited by the respondents for the slowdown in buyer activity in their markets.

  • Respondents from some Midwest states— Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana— reported that the extremely cold weather held homebuying activity.
  • Some respondents from California, New York, and New Jersey reported the cap on deductions for property, state and local income taxes is negatively affecting sales.
  • A respondent from California also noted that the widespread wildfires in 2018 are still impacting home sales[4].
  • Respondents from Alabama, California, Nevada, Florida, Texas, and Virginia reported that the government shutdown appeared to have had an impact in homebuying activity.
  • Lack of supply, especially of affordable homes, continues to frustrate would-be homebuyers.
  • REALTORS® reported that higher mortgage rates (during October, November and December) discouraged buyers

To note, mortgage rates have started falling again since January 2019.[5] As of February 14, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has fallen to 4.37 percent from 4.8 percent during the weeks of November 8 and 15. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is still slightly higher compared to the 3.95 percent in January 2018. The monthly increase in mortgage payment arising from a 0.5 percent increase in mortgage rates on a loan of $250,000 is about $73 per month.


[1]In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, NAR asks respondents “Compared to the same month (January) last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” NAR compiles the responses into an index, where an index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” traffic than “weaker” traffic.  In generating the buyer traffic index 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. The index is not seasonally adjusted, so a year-over-year comparison is appropriate.

[2] The index is not seasonally adjusted, so a year-over-year comparison is appropriate compared to a month-to-month comparison in evaluating whether market conditions are improving or deteriorating.

[3] Freddie Mac’s survey of 30-year fixed rate mortgages

[4] Bloomberg reported that 876,000 acres were burned in California due to wildfires, citing data form the California Department of Forestry and Fire and Protection in Now California Wildfires Burn All Year; see https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-17/california-fires-burn-all-year-as-drought-left-state-a-tinderbox

[5] Rates started falling after Chairman Powell of the Federal Reserve Board announced in December 2018 that it was looking at one rate hike in 2019.

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.
Home Buying Conditions by State in January 2019

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/.

 

 

Home Buying Conditions by State in January 2019

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.