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Latest Realty News from NAR
In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 32 days (34 days on year ago), according to the September 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. However, the difference in median days in the current month compared to the same month last year has started to narrow as homebuying demand has eased and the inventory of homes for sale has slightly increased. In January and February of this year, properties were selling about one week less compared to the length of time in the same period one year ago.
During the July–September 2018, properties typically sold within one month in 27 states (32 states in August 2018). Properties sold most quickly in South Dakota (20 days), Idaho (21), Washington (21 days), Rhode Island (21 days), Indianapolis (22 days), Kansas (23), Massachusetts (23), Ohio (23), Utah (23), Colorado (24), Nevada (24), Nebraska (24), Maine (24), and Michigan (24).
That properties are still selling faster compared to one year ago is an indication that the supply of homes for sale is still inadequate compared to the demand for homes. Based on the REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index, home selling conditions were “weak” during July, August, and September 2018 compared to one year ago in the District of Columbia and in 28 states including California, Oregon, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.
 In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations.
 An index greater than 50 means that more respondents reported conditions relative to one year ago as “strong” than those that reported “weak.” Due to sampling, we categorize the index as “very weak” for 0 to 25; “weak” for values 25+ to 45; “stable” for values 45+ to 55; “strong” for values 55+ to 75; and “very strong” for values 75+.
At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.77 percent this September, up 14.9 percent compared to 4.15 percent a year ago.
The National Association of REALTORS® reported that quarterly home prices increased again this past quarter. Prices continued to rise, with 93% of the markets showing home price appreciation. While, single-family home price growth is slowing and median family incomes are rising, affordability has been declining. Knowing the mortgage rates and the qualifying incomes for down payments will help potential homeowners figure out what metro areas are affordable for them. Here is a look at the metro areas with the strongest price growth in the third quarter 2018, as well as a look at the yearly change in median existing single-family home prices for the top five highest and lowest growth metro areas of the third quarter 2018.
These are the top five single-family metro areas with the highest home price appreciation:
These are the bottom five single-family metro areas that had a decline in home price appreciation:
These are the most expensive metro areas for the third quarter 2018:
These are the least expensive metro areas for the third quarter 2018:
Qualifying Income Based on Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas by Region:
For the US, at the 5 percent down-payment threshold, the qualifying income amount for the third quarter of 2018 was $64,480. At the 10 percent down-payment mark, the qualifying income was $61,086, and with a 20 percent down-payment, the income required to qualify for a mortgage was $54,299. The West led all regions with the highest qualifying income while the Midwest had the lowest income for 5%, 10% and 20% down payments on a single-family home.