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Posted on 25 May 2018
by Michael Hyman, Research Data Specialist
NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this April fell 2.5 percent from last month and dropped 1.4 percent from last year. April’s existing home sales reached 5.46 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $257,900 in April, up 5.3 percent from a year ago. This marks the 74th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago, with the West leading all regions with an incline of 6.2 percent. The Midwest had a gain of 4.6 percent followed by the South with a gain of 3.9 percent. The Northeast had the smallest gain of 2.8 percent from April 2017.
April’s inventory figures are up 9.8 percent from last month to 1.67 million homes for sale. However, compared with April of 2017, fewer homes are available, with inventory down 6.2 percent, marking 35 months of year-over-year declines. It will take 4.0 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. Transactions are moving faster and it takes approximately 26 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 39 days a year ago.
From March, three of the four regions experienced declines in sales. The Northeast had the biggest decline of 4.4 percent followed by the West with a drop of 3.3 percent. The South fell 2.9 percent. The Midwest region was flat.
Three of the four regions showed declines in sales from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in sales of 11.0 percent followed by the Midwest with a decline of 3.0 percent. The West had a modest dip of 0.8 percent. The South was the only region to have a gain of 2.2 percent. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.7 percent of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 11.9 percent.
In April, single-family sales declined 3.0 percent and condominiums sales rose 1.6 percent compared to last month. Single-family home sales fell 1.6 percent and condominium sales were unchanged compared to a year ago. Both single-family and condominiums had an increase in price with single-family up 5.5 percent at $259,900 and condominiums up 3.4 percent at $245,500 from April 2017.
Posted on 25 May 2018
by Karen Belita, Data Scientist
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 April 2018. View and download the full report here.
Market Conditions and Expectations
The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 74 (75 in April 2017).
The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 45 (46 in April 2017).
The REALTORS® Confidence Index—Six–Month Outlook Current Conditions registered at 74 for detached single-family, 63 for townhome, and 59 for condominium properties. An index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve.
Properties were typically on the market for 26 days (29 days in April 2017).
Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported that home prices remained constant or rose in April 2018 compared to levels one year ago (82 percent in April 2017).
Characteristics of Buyers and Sellers
First-time buyers accounted for 33 percent of sales (34 percent in April 2017).
Vacation and investment buyers comprised 15 percent of sales (15 percent in April 2017).
Sales of distressed properties (foreclosed or sold as a short sale) accounted for 3.5 percent of sales (5 percent in April 2017).
Cash sales made up 21 percent of sales (21 percent in April 2017).
Eighteen percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for closing costs (8 percent), providing a warranty (7 percent), and undertaking remodeling (2 percent).
Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers
From February–April 2018, 78 percent of contracts settled on time (72 percent in April 2017).
Among sales that closed in April 2018, 75 percent had contract contingencies. The most common contingencies pertained to home inspection (55 percent), obtaining financing (44 percent), and getting an acceptable appraisal (41 percent).
REALTORS® report “low inventory”, “interest rates”, and “multiple offers” as the major issues affecting transactions in April 2018.
About the RCI Survey
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 April 2018 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s 1.3 million members through simple random sampling and to 7,082 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
There were 4,555 respondents to the online survey which ran from May 1-9, 2018. 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.
Posted on 11 May 2018
by Michael Hyman, Research Data Specialist
At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.42 percent this March, up 8.2 percent compared to 4.28 percent a year ago.
Housing affordability declined from a year ago in March moving the index down 7.0 percent from 150.4 to 161.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in March in the US was $252,111 up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
Nationally, mortgage rates were up 35 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.7 percent.
Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.5 percent. The South had an increase of 6.0 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 5.1 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 3.5 percent.
Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.2 percent. The South had a decline of 7.3 percent followed by the Midwest with a drop of 5.7 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 2.7 percent.
On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all four regions. The West had a decline of 4.7 percent followed by the Northeast with a dip of 5.6 percent. The South had a drop of 5.9 percent followed by the Midwest, which had the biggest; dip in affordability of 8.6 percent.
Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 194.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.6. For comparison, the index was 151.8 in the South, and 163.5 in the Northeast.
Mortgage applications are currently down 2.5 percent. Mortgage credit availability in April was flat. Rates are rising which will increase-housing costs. Home prices are up 5.9 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.7 percent. Inventory gains will help ease the pressure on home prices.
What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.
Posted on 8 May 2018
by Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton, Research Economist
In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, the survey asks, “Compared to the original listing price, at how much of a net discount or net premium did the property sell?”
According to a survey of REALTORS® who responded to the March 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, 37 percent of properties that closed in February 2018 sold at or above the list price. One year ago, 35 percent sold at or above the list price, and during the months of January in 2012 through 2015, about one in four sold at or above the list price. Buyer demand continues to outpace supply of homes being listed for sale in the market, sustaining the upward pressure on home prices.
According to respondents who reported closing a sale, 17 percent of properties sold at a net premium in March 2018, an increase from the nine percent share in 2014 and 2015. Of properties that sold at a premium, 87 percent sold at 101 to 110 percent of the list price, seven percent were sold at a premium of 11 to 20 percent, and five percent were sold at more than 20 percent premium.
The price distribution continues to skew to the right. In 2012, 34 percent of properties were typically listed at $150,000 in 2012, but as of March 2018, only 22 percent of properties listed were typically at this price level.
Use the data visualization below to view the median listing price of properties listed on Realtor.com in March 2018. Red areas are areas where the listing price is higher than the U.S. median sales price of all existing homes sold in March 2018, at $250,400. Hover on the map to see the distribution of listing prices from June 2012 through March 2018 on Realtor.com data.
Posted on 7 May 2018
by Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton, Research Economist
In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents are asked “In the neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make the most sales, what are your expectations for residential property prices over the next year?”
Among the respondents, the median expected price change is four percent. The chart below shows median expected price change by state based on survey responses collected during January–March 2018, according to the March 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.
Respondents from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia expect the highest price growth in the next 12 months, with the expected median price growth at more than five to nearly eight percent. Respondents from California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and New Hampshire also expect strong price growth, with the median expected price growth in the range of more than four to five percent.
House prices have increased steeply since 2012 compared to the growth in income. Nationally, U.S. home prices rose 44 percent during the period 2012 Q1 –2017 Q4, based on the FHFA Home Price Index expanded, not seasonally adjusted data set. Meanwhile, personal per capita income only increased by 17 percent during this period. Strong demand because of employment growth, historically low interest rates (though slowly creeping up), and inadequate home building (though steadily rising) have all contributed to the steep price increase since 2012.
According to Realtor.com data, listing prices were higher in March 2018 compared to one year ago in many metro areas, even in areas where prices are at or near the $1 million level, such as San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara (+31%) and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (+6%). However, the median listing price decreased in Sta. Maria-Sta. Barbara (-28%) and Napa (-15%).
In high tax areas that were the most affected by the $10,000 total limit on deductions for property, state, and local income taxes, prices are still rising, such as in New York, Newark-Jersey City (+13%), Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (+10%), New Haven-Milford (+5%), and Hartford (+4%).
Use the data visualization below to view the change in median listing prices in March 2018 from one year ago. Red areas are areas where prices rose compared to one year ago. Hover on the map to view the historical median listing prices of properties listed on Realtor.com from June 2012 through March 2018.
 Because each month’s survey asks about the outlook in the next months, the responses collected from January-March 2018 covers the outlook for January 2018-March 2019.
 The FHFA HPI is a repeat price index. The expanded data set includes county recorder data set. See https://www.fhfa.gov/DataTools/Downloads/pages/house-price-index.aspx
 Realtor.com data is freely available and can be download from https://www.realtor.com/research