The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) 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. This report presents key results about market transactions from January 2019. View and download the full report here.
Market Conditions and Expectations
- The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 52 (69 in January 2018).
- The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 42 (44 in January 2018).
- The REALTORS® Confidence Index—Six-Month Outlook Current Conditions registered at 62 for detached single-family, 50 for townhome, and 48 for condominium properties. An index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve.
- Properties were typically on the market for 49 days (42 days in January 2018).
- Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported that home prices remained constant or rose in January 2019 compared to levels one year ago (89 percent in January 2018).
- First-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of sales (29 percent in January 2018).
- Vacation and investment buyers comprised 16 percent of sales (17 percent in January 2018).
- Sales of distressed properties (foreclosed or sold as a short sale) accounted for four percent of sales (five percent in January 2018).
- Cash sales made up 23 percent of sales (22 percent in January 2018).
- Twenty-one percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for closing costs (10 percent), providing warranty (8 percent), and undertaking remodeling (3 percent).
Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers
- From November 2018–January 2019, 73 percent of contracts settled on time (75 percent in January 2018).
- Among sales that closed in January 2019, 73 percent had contract contingencies. The most common contingencies pertained to home inspection (55 percent), obtaining financing (45 percent), and getting an acceptable appraisal (44 percent).
- REALTORS® report “interest rate” and “low inventory” as the major issues affecting transactions in January 2019.
- 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 January 2019 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 9,867 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
- There were 5,175 respondents to the online survey which ran from February 1-11, 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
 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.
 Respondents report on the most recent characteristics of their most recent sale for the month.
 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.”
 The difference in the sum of percentages to the total percentage of sellers who offered incentives is due to rounding.