February 8th, 2019 11:28 AM by Eric Fang
The housing market is always subject to fluctuations and can be impacted by several factors. In this first month of 2019, one of the biggest issues impacting home sales is the ongoing federal government shutdown. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently surveyed a portion of its members and found that the federal government shutdown was having some influence on home sales, but the extent of the impact is still not certain. To determine whether the federal government shutdown was affecting the housing market, the NAR surveyed 2,211 of its members, according to MarketWatch. While 75 percent surveyed said they had not noticed an impact from the federal government shutdown, 22 percent reported that they did see an influence, with 11 percent stating current clients were impacted and 11 percent claiming that potential clients were influenced. The survey revealed that the federal government shutdown was causing an impact in sales involving both nongovernment employees and federal government workers. One-quarter of agents who reported an impact revealed that some nongovernment buyers were backing out of sales due to uncertainty in the government. The study also found that 9 percent of Realtors who experienced an impact because of the federal government shutdown stated that it was because a government employee decided not to buy a home. While the federal government shutdown offers some indication of its related interference with home sales, it is not the only issue at play. In the same NAR study, agents revealed that they were having difficulty closing sales because of issues with FHA loans, USDA loans, and income verification from the IRS. Additionally, the housing market has been slow for more than a year, with both sales and price appreciation consistently down. Although Realtors should pay attention to the situation, multiple factors may make home sales more difficult.