Confidence in 2017 Volume Wanes Post-Election: First American


Expectations of transaction volume in the year ahead are down for the fourth quarter in the wake of the presidential election, according to data from First American Financial Corp.

Confidence regarding growth in volume is down 11.8% from the third quarter and 3.8% from a year ago, First American reported in its quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index. For purchases, positive sentiment has slipped 8% quarter over quarter, while for refinancings it dropped 15.6% in that same time period.

“Uncertainty leading into the election, as well as increasing confidence in the likelihood of Federal Reserve rate increases, tempered expectations for housing demand and lowered the overall price growth forecast,” First American chief economist Mark Fleming said in a news release.

The Real Estate Sentiment Index data is based on a survey of independent title agents and other real estate professionals. The survey also found that market production had dropped 3.8% from a year ago — First American cited this as an indicator of changes to volume and price over the next year.

Prices meanwhile are expected to grow 3.5% over the coming year, down from the previous quarter’s estimate of 4.1%.

Fleming noted that title agents displayed a relative preference for Donald Trump due to the belief that having less regulation would benefit the industry.

“Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect and we have more political certainty, the message of title agents and real estate professionals to the new administration is: provide more regulatory and compliance certainty and the housing market will benefit,” Fleming said.

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