Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Settlement Delays and Cancellations Increase

According to responses from Realtors® to the latest Realtors® Confidence Index survey, the number of settlement problems as an overall percent of market closings has increased in the past month. On-time settlements were reported as declining from 65 percent to 47 percent. Inability to obtain a mortgage was reported by 9 percent of respondents as causing a settlement cancellation (up from 4 percent previously). Other reasons for settlement cancellation - such as failed inspections, buyers with cold feet, and adverse economic conditions - resulted in a 20 percent cancellation rate, up from 14 percent. The overall economic situation and the recent lowering of loan limits coupled with a currently high level of risk aversion by financial institutions seem to have had an impact on settlement cancellations.

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