Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Every month REALTORS® provide a variety of comments in responding to the survey for the REALTORS® Confidence Index. Changes in the types of comments received highlight the current problems and opportunities around the country.

A Changing Market: The biggest issue right now is Multi-bidding. A number of REALTORS® noted that some buyers are “still trying to get something for nothing.” However, the market has changed substantially—in only a few months. Sales, prices, and confidence are up. Low inventories of homes for sale, a sellers’ market, investors purchasing properties for cash, and increased buyer activity have created tight markets in a number of areas. To quote one REALTOR®, ”Buyers must offer within 24 hours”.

  • What does this mean for REALTORS®? Buyers with financing in place and ready to make an offer with fewer contingencies have been noted as being more successful.

Appraisals - Still a Problem: Appraisals continue to be a problem. A number of responses noted that appraisals are coming in low and lagging the market by three to four months. Concern over appraiser qualifications as related to specific markets was noted. A number of sources also indicated that appraisers are increasingly raising inspection issues—not an issue for an appraisal.

  • What does this mean for REALTORS®? How to handle the buyer and seller concerns resulting from appraisal lags may be an issue that needs to be thought out ahead of time in order to avoid a contract cancellation.

Mortgages - Still Tight: Continued problems faced by some buyers in qualifying for a loan were noted. This is particularly the case for condos in view of FHA owner occupancy requirements. A number of REALTORS® expressed concern over unrealistic loan requirements by financial institutions.

  • What does this mean for REALTORS®? Getting finances in order prior to filing for a mortgage was noted by a number of respondents as an important issue. Some sources have noted that there are a wide variety of institutions making loans—not just the large banks. A local bank or credit union may be a good place to look for a mortgage. In addition, having built a relationship with a bank can be very helpful when looking for a loan.
Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.

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Visit this blog daily to see what NAR experts are saying about the economy, the housing market, and other factors that will impact your business.

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Housing Minute is a monthly video series highlighting the latest housing data from the National Association of REALTORS® in a minute or less.