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Economic Center Blog

September 12, 2017

Outlook for Real Estate Falls in Third Quarter Amid Rate Uncertainty

Written by FirstAm Editor

We invite you to browse the third quarter 2017 First American Real Estate Sentiment Index, which is based on a quarterly survey of independent title agents and other real estate professionals, providing a unique gauge on the real estate market using the crowd-sourced wisdom and expertise of real estate experts.


“While low expectations for refinance transactions dragged overall outlook down year-over-year, expectations for purchase volume growth remain positive due to Millennial demand and economic tailwinds.”


Highlights from the Q3 2017 RESI include:

  •  Title agent and real estate professional confidence in 2017 dips on lower expectations for refinance transactions: “Overall, confidence among title agents and real estate professionals in transaction volume growth in the coming year fell this quarter by 4.8 percent. The decrease was primarily driven by the drop in expectations for refinance volumes, which dropped 3.8 percent from last quarter, and 19.7 percent year-over-year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.
  • The housing supply shortage is driving price appreciation: “Approximately, 77 percent of title agents and real estate professionals characterized the severity of the shortage of homes for sale as moderate or high,” said Fleming. “In fact, 81 percent of title agents and real estate professionals agreed that the lack of inventory is the primary reason for house price appreciation in their market, with 20 percent of those strongly agreeing with this statement.”

For more information and analysis, including title agent and real estate professional sentiment on price and transaction volume growth by property type nationally and at the state level, please visit the Real Estate Sentiment Index.

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Topics: Homeownership, Real Estate Sentiment Index