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REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: April 2019 Highlights

The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI)[1]  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.[2] This report presents key results about market transactions from April 2019. View and download the full report here.

Market Conditions and Expectations

  • The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 63 (74 in April 2018).[3]
  • The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 47 (45 in April 2018).
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index—Six-Month Outlook Current Conditions registered at 67 for detached single-family, 56 for townhome, and 53 for condominium properties. An index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve.
  • Properties were typically on the market for 24 days (26 days in April 2018).
  • Eighty-two percent of respondents reported that home prices remained constant or rose in April 2019 compared to levels one year ago (88 percent in April 2018).

Characteristics of Buyers and Sellers

  • First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of sales (33 percent in April 2018).
  • Vacation and investment buyers comprised 16 percent of sales (14 percent in April 2018).
  • Sales of distressed properties (foreclosed or sold as a short sale) accounted for 3 percent of sales (4 percent in April 2018).
  • Cash sales made up 20 percent of sales (21 percent in April 2018).
  • Twenty-one percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for closing costs (10 percent), providing warranty (8 percent), and undertaking remodeling (4 percent).[4]

Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers

  • From February 2019–April 2019, 76 percent of contracts settled on time (78 percent in February 2018–April 2018).
  • Among sales that closed in April 2019, 74 percent had contract contingencies. The most common contingencies pertained to home inspection (54 percent), obtaining financing (43 percent), and getting an acceptable appraisal (41 percent).
  • REALTORS® report “low inventory” and “construction” as the major issues affecting transactions in April 2019.

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 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 10,000 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
  • There were 4,611 respondents to the online survey which ran from May 1-10, 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


[1] Thanks to Gay Cororaton, Research Economist for their data analysis and comments to the RCI Report.

[2] Respondents report on the most recent characteristics of their most recent sale for the month.

[3] 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.”

[4] The difference in the sum of percentages to the total percentage of sellers who offered incentives is due to rounding.

  • NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this April, modestly fell 0.4 percent from March 2019. April’s sales of existing homes dropped 4.4 percent from April 2018. April’s existing-home sales reached a 5.19 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.

  • The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $267,300 in April, up 3.6 percent from a year ago. This marks the 86th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

  • Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago. The Midwest had largest gain of 5.5 percent followed by the South with a gain of 4.4 percent. The West had an increase of 1.3 percent followed by the Northeast with a modest incline of 0.9 from April 2018.
  • April’s inventory figures are up from last month 9.6 percent to 1.83 million homes for sale. Compared with April of 2018, there was a 1.7 percent increase in inventory levels. It will take 4.2 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 24 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, up from 26 days a year ago. This would be the fastest pace since 2011 when the days on the market index began.

  • From March 2019, two of the four regions showed declines in sales while the Midwest was flat. The West was the only region to have an incline in sales at 1.8 percent. The South fell 0.4 percent followed by the Northeast with the biggest decline of 4.5 percent.
  • All four regions showed declines in sales from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest drop in sales of 7.9 percent followed by the West with a decline of 5.9 percent. The Northeast fell 4.5 percent followed by the South with a dip of 1.7 percent. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.7 percent of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.3 percent.

  • In April, single-family sales were down 1.1 percent and condominiums sales were down 5.6 to last month. Single-family home sales fell 4.0 percent and condominium sales were down 8.1 compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 3.7 percent at $269,300 and condominiums rose 3.4 percent at $251,000 from April 2018.

Research Behind the Scenes at the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo: Research Committee

On Thursday afternoon, the Research team presented the committee-directed redesigns and findings of several surveys and data projects to the Research Committee..  The purpose of the committee is to focus on market conditions in the real estate industry as well as developments in the general economy and to identify topics on which research and information is needed with an eye to improving the productivity and profitability of REALTOR® firms, state associations, and local boards, and how that data can be utilized.  The committee is comprised of three state or board association staff, 10 residential specialists, 10 commercial specialists (including 1 auction specialist), one REALTOR® appraiser, one AEC Representative, and 15 at-large members.  The Committee is Chaired by Karen Crowson and Vice-Chaired by Joanne Zettl.

Brandi Snowden, Director of Member and Consumer Survey Research, presented the findings of the 2019 Profile of Home Staging to the Committee.  New this year in the report was a discussion of the impact home staging-related TV shows have on consumer staging expectations.

Amanda Riggs, Research Survey Analyst, spoke about the findings of the 2019 Profile of Real Estate Firms, newly redesigned under a directive from the Research Committee.  The report includes new topic areas, such as career direction after staff leave the firm, and whether the firm utilizes virtual assistants.

Nadia Evangelou, Research Economist, and Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights, presented on a tax study and how the reduced SALT deduction will affect taxpayers by each state.  For more on the reduced SALT deduction, click here >

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Klaus Steigler
Talkeetna ReaI Estate

P.O. Box 488
Talkeetna, AK 99676
Phone: 907-733-5550
Email: klaus2@mtaonline.net

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