Monthly, the National Association of REALTORS® surveys 500,000 of its members for an “out in the field” look at the strength of the housing market. Here are NAR’s latest findings for January 2019:

Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers 

  1. 73% of all contracts settled on time compared with 75% in January 2018.
  2. 73% of all contracts had contingencies such as…
    1. 55% – home inspections
    2. 45% – obtaining financing
    3. 44% – obtaining an appraisal
  3. Interest rate uncertainties caused both buyers and sellers to pause concerning their decisions to buy and/or sell.
  4. Low inventories, particularly in lower tiered markets, caused both buyers and sellers (from first-time buyers to downsizing sellers) to simply stay where they were currently living.
  5. Average Days On the Market (DOM) were 49 days in January 2019 compared with 42 days in January 2018.
  6. 21% of all sellers offered incentives to their buyers.
    1. 10% of sellers paid closing costs.
    2. 8% of sellers provided warranties.
    3. 3% of sellers undertook remodeling projects
  7. 23% of all sales were cash in January 2019 compared with 22% all-cash sales in January 2018.

Market Conditions and Expectations

  1. 78% of all agents reported that home prices remained the same or rose in January 2019 compared with 89% in January 2018. (This 11% change is notable.)
  2. Buyer traffic was rated at 52 in January 2019 compared with 69 in January 2018. (Confidence rating levels are based upon scores between 20-80; anything 50 and above is considered positive while anything 50 and under is considered less positive,)
  3. Seller traffic was rated at 42 in January 2019 compared with 44 in January 2018.
  4. Confidence levels concerning sales potential of specific properties are measured every 6 months. Here are January 2019 levels:
    1. Single-family homes – 62
    2. Townhomes – 50
    3. Condominiums – 48
  5. 4% of all sales were distressed property sales in January 2019, compared with 5% in January 2018.
  6. 70% of all transactions closed at original listing prices or net premiums in January 2019.
  7. 13% of all sellers were 34 years or younger; 41% of all sellers were between 35-56 years; 46% of all sellers were 56 years or older in January 2019.
  8. 66% of all sellers used their property as a primary residence; 23% of all sellers used their property as an investment.
  9. The average number of offers made on a property was 2.1 offers in January 2019.

Characteristics of Buyers and Sellers

  1. 29% of all buyers were first-time buyers in January 2019, equal to the percentage of first-time buyers in January 2018.
  2. 77% of first-time buyers made down payments of less than 20%.
  3. 16% of all buyers were vacation and/or retirement buyers in January, compared with 17% in January 2018.

Issues Affecting Agents/Brokers

  1. The average number of listings/agents = 2.7 listings in January 2019.
  2. The average number of clients taken on home tours/agents – 4.4 clients in January 2019.

For more specifics on the NAR January 2019 Confidence Index, click

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/realtors-confidence-index