Realtors Confidence Index Indicates Healthy Market

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The Federal Savings Bank shares and comments on news from two housing reports.

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First-time home buyers made up 28 percent of all home sales during the month of July while 23 percent of the sales were paid with cash

The Federal Savings Bank was intrigued by the recent results of the Realtors Confidence Index Survey for July 2015 (released on August 20th, 2015). Participating real estate professionals indicated they believe the market is stronger when compared on a year-over-year basis. However, overall improvement of the real estate market will likely slow over the course of the next six months.

Housing market conditions are healthy

In the survey, professionals reported local market conditions as well as their confidence in the future of the market based on current experience. According to the survey, the outlook for single-family, condominium properties and townhomes decreased a small bit. This is due to a slowing market.

The impressive improvement of the housing market seen in recent years has supported first time home buyers and returning buyers alike as they have decided to enter the market and invest in real estate.

First-time home buyers made up 28 percent of all home sales during the month of July while 23 percent of the sales were paid with cash. Unfortunately, listed homes remained on the market for a bit longer as the average increased to 42 days across the nation. However, it should be noted fall is approaching and this season is a bit slower than the spring and summer seasons for real estate.

Demand for homes impacted by supply
More individuals have gained an interest in homeownership. However, when prices for homes increase due to low inventory, fewer interested buyers can invest in a new house. The survey indicated real estate professionals were worried about the tight inventory and the impact it would have on affordability. This may translate into more mortgage restrictions and more conservative appraisals of available properties.

The Federal Savings Bank believes that fortunately, builder confidence has improved as demand for housing options has risen. This translates into more available homes and more affordability for interested buyers. Demand will likely increase as houses become even more attainable.

According to the National Association of Home Builders on August 17th, confidence in the market for single-family home construction increased by one point in August.

"Today's report is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening of the single-family housing sector in 2015," said NAHB's Chief Economist David Crowe. "Job and economic gains should keep the market moving forward at a modest pace throughout the rest of the year."

The Federal Savings Bank has seen that the building market has steadily improved in recent months. With low interest rates and improving economic landscape, more individuals can confidently begin a search for a new home. The low inventory forces up the need for new houses and drives construction and ultimately builder confidence.
"The fact the builder confidence has been in the low 60s for three straight months shows that single-family housing is making slow but steady progress," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "However, we continue to hear that builders face difficulties accessing land and labor."

Contact the Federal Savings Bank, a veteran owned bank, to learn more about mortgages.

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Giorgio Urbano Ferrero
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