A monthly survey of REALTORS® about their transactions in March 2015 indicated a pickup in market activity and more widespread confidence compared to conditions in February 2015 and a year ago.
The seasonal uptick in market activity during spring and summer, low interest rates and a sustained growth in jobs, and recent measures to lower the cost of borrowing and make credit more available (e.g., lower FHA mortgage insurance, 3 percent down payment GSE-backed loans, and relaxation and clarity regarding lender buyback of loans) are likely underpinning the improved market confidence.
For the second month in a row, the REALTOR® Confidence Index-Six-Month Outlook was above 50 across all property types (single family townhomes, condominiums), indicating that the number of respondents who viewed the market as “strong” outnumbered those who viewed the market as “weak.” With strong demand amid tight supply, properties typically sold faster. With demand rising while supply remains constrained, the pace of home price growth appears to be on the rise. The share of sales for investment purposes and cash sales continued to decline, an indication that long-term homeowners, rather than investors, are increasingly driving the recovery.