This blog post was written by Karen Belita, Data Scientist.
In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® asks members if they have additional comments or information regarding the demand, demand-supply conditions, changing buyer profile and preferences, mortgage/credit issues, or other issues impacting the market in their own words.
The additional comments supplied by the members are a glimpse of their personal point-of-view of the current housing market, which can intuitively support the data collected on the housing market.
Looking back at the comments in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey from 2009, some of the most popular words and phrases were “short sale,” “foreclosure,” and “bank.” The comments indicate that distressed properties were overwhelming the market, which was a reflection of the financial crisis in the United States that started in 2007, and poured into 2009. Four years later, in 2012, the same words were still popular in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, which indicated that members were still noticing or were concerned about distressed properties, although, data indicate that the market was starting to turn at this time. Conversely, four years later, in 2016, there was shift in what the members were commenting about. Words referring to distressed properties were scarce. The most frequent words and phrases in 2016 were: “low inventory,” “inventory low,” “multiple offer,” and “inventory.” This indicates that the main concern or issue of the members was the low inventory in the real estate market, especially relative to the number of buyers.
The word frequency represents the most popular words and/or phrases within the collection of comments from the members. Word frequency is represented as size in the word clouds below.