January 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index Report Just Released
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) (the guys who warn consumers that "not all real estate agents are REALTORS®) just released the January 2014 edition of The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) Report, which provides monthly information about market conditions and expectations, buyer/seller traffic, price trends, buyer profiles, and issues affecting the real estate industry based on information gathered from over 3,300 REALTORS® from across the country.
The survey provides an overview of what is really happening based on information from the professionals who deal with real estate every day. This information goes directly to the public, the press, Congress, the Administration, and other governmental branches and helps to inform REALTOR® members, the media and policy makers about current issues facing REALTORS® and their communities.
The January data indicates that the year started off at a modest pace of expansion compared to the heated recovery in 2012 through mid 2013. The extreme winter weather was reported to have negatively affected sales particularly in the East Coast and Midwest. But across many states, a major factor reported by REALTORS® that is impeding sales is the low inventory of available properties. Another problem is the tight access to credit; there are reports that self-employed individuals have a tough time obtaining mortgages. The uncertainty regarding flood insurance premiums has also stalled demand in coastal areas. NAR estimates that flood insurance issues impacted approximately 40,000 sales during the October 2013-January 2014 time frame. Most REALTORS® expect prices to continue rising albeit at a modest pace. The rental market has remained strong with rents continuing to increase.
It goes without saying that all real estate is local: conditions in specific markets may vary from the overall national trends presented in this report.
To access the RCI report for January 2014, please click here.