SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

November 12, 2009 13:16 ET

Realtors® Confidence Index Gauges Market Trends, Current Conditions

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - Twenty nine percent of recent buyers purchased a home in foreclosure or through a short sale, according to the latest Realtors® Confidence Index. Realtors® who participated in the survey are also concerned about a growing number of foreclosures and the hurdles buyers face in short sales.

The RCI is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey of more than 50,000 Realtors®; in a typical month there are more than 3,000 usable responses. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions; they also share their insights regarding buyer preferences and financing options and how those factors are influencing real estate markets nationwide.

"Realtors® are on the front lines with buyers and sellers in today's market and have valuable insights into real estate trends," said National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan. "The volume of distressed sales that our members are reporting underscores the importance of the recent tax credit extension. By putting cash in the hands of financially healthy home buyers, the credit will continue to help draw down inventory and stabilize home prices to encourage a strong and sustainable housing recovery."

Despite the high volume of distressed sales, Realtors® report that their buyers encounter various challenges associated with these types of sales. Buyers who present a short sale offer can wait months before hearing whether their offer will be accepted. In addition, Realtors® are also seeing increased competition for foreclosed properties, and multiple bids are sometimes driving sales prices over list prices.

Aside from the demand for short sales and foreclosed homes, today's buyers are increasingly interested in a home's energy efficiency and proximity to transportation corridors, reflecting concerns about rising energy costs. Many Realtors® are seeing a growing preference among buyers for smaller homes, as people look to downsize and cut expenses.

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration are the primary lending vehicle for many buyers; 24 percent of recent buyers used an FHA loan to finance their purchase. However, more than one in five recent buyers -- 21 percent -- paid all cash.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the Web site's "News Media" section in the NAR Media Center.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

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