NAR reports increase in buyer, seller confidence

by Alison McAvoy

The National Association of Realtors recently released its Realtors Confidence Index (RCI) to gauge Realtors’ feelings about the overall market, including local real estate market conditions, characteristics of buyers and sellers, and external factors affecting homeownership and sales.

Overall, the confidence index for single-family homes sits at 65, with anything over 50 indicating that respondents think conditions will continue to improve in the next six months.

NAR surveyed over 5,000 of its members and received a total of 2,370 responses. Other findings include:

  1. Buyer and seller traffic index increased.
    The number of buyers shopping for homes and sellers putting their homes on the market improved sufficiently in September. According to the survey, the buyer traffic index was listed at 61, adding two points from last year. The seller traffic index registered at 45, a four-point leap from the previous year’s measurement. The survey also reported that the amount of first-time homebuyers fell a bit from last September, now only accounting for 29 percent of sales from last month. The amount of vacation and investment buyers stayed about the same.
  2. Buyer characteristics remain mostly unchanged. 
    The RCI found that the number of first-time homebuyers dipped to 29 percent of sales last month from 34 percent in the same period last year. However, the number of vacation and investment buyers remained the same at 15 percent.
  3. Fewer contract difficulties.
    Between July and September, more contracts were settled without any delays. 73 percent of contracts closed on time, compared to only 63 percent last year. Sales for distressed properties mirrored those from last year.