The level of Realtor confidence declined slightly in September for most housing types, mainly due to multiple issues regarding the housing market's recovery progress.
While Realtor confidence improved during the month for townhouses, the National Association of Realtors' reported that confidence declined for condominiums and single-family homes. Many of the issues with the housing market were due to some of the lingering issues abounding. These included the difficulty for many to acquire the proper amount of credit needed to purchase a property, low inventory levels and problems with the appraisal process.
The Realtors Confidence Index also noted many industry members were frustrated with the lending situation. Specifically, there are banks that are avoiding lending, while some are also delaying approvals. As previously mentioned, the high standards some financial institutions have regarding credit also proved to be an issue. Another problem that contributed to the lowered confidence levels was the fact that financial institutions increasingly ask for further records to approve mortgages.
Economic problems also dominated the minds of Realtors, the report showed. There was slowed job growth throughout the year, which has hurt the housing market. Additionally, there were a larger amount of political and regulatory issues that may affect the market's progress in a negative fashion. Problems outside of the country also were prevalent throughout the month, as the European debt crisis was still a risk for the American economy and housing market.
The report added that real estate records showed both buyers and sellers were less active in September, but seller traffic fared much worse. This was likely because property data showed supply levels were constricted during the month. Much of this may have been due to some housing market participants waiting for the home price situation to show further progress.
Consumer confidence still high, may help housing market
While Realtors may feel slightly down about current housing market conditions, economic progress has many consumers feeling better about the state of affairs. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index showed, that in September, confidence rose to a level of 70.3 from the previous month's 61.3.
Additionally, the report showed that the Expectations Index jumped to 83.7 from the previous figure of 71.1, while the Present Situation Index improved to 50.2 from 46.5 recorded one month earlier.