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As of midnight on December 21, 2018, the President and Congress were unable to come to an agreement regarding provisions of a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. Due to this, a partial federal government shutdown has occurred. This shutdown includes aspects of federal housing, mortgage, and programs of the real estate industry. 


A survey of 2,211 members found 75 percent had no impact to their contract signings or closings. However, 11 percent did report an impact on current clients and 11 percent on potential clients.

If respondents reported an impact on current or potential clients, they were asked further details. Respondents were allowed to pick more than one response, as they may be working with more than one client. The most common impact, at 25 percent, was the buyer decided not to buy due to general economic uncertainty, though they were not a federal government employee. Nine percent of these members had clients who decided not to buy, as their clients are federal government employees. Six percent had a seller who could not sell because their move was impacted by their employment. Three percent had a buyer who was unable to buy due to lender rejection based on furlough (Federal Government employee or contractor).

Three percent had a buyer client who decided not to buy because of lost income or furlough (they are a Federal Government contractor).

Among those impacted by the shutdown, 17 percent had a delay because of a USDA loan, 13 percent had a delay due to IRS income verification, nine percent had a delay due to FHA loans, six percent had a

delay due to a VA loan, and nine percent did not cite the reason for the delay.

Other members had lost bids on homes due to the shutdown. These members reported buyers had lost bids due to the following reasons: six percent said buyer was using a FHA loan, four percent buyer was using a USDA loan, and three percent buyer was using a VA loan.

Impacted members also had contracts that were terminated due to the shutdown. Two percent had contracts terminated for each of the following reasons: buyer was using a VA loan, buyer was using a USDA loan, and other reasons not noted. One percent had contracts terminated because the buyer was using a VA loan. 

In past shutdowns, 59 percent of respondents were active in real estate and were not impacted. However 13 percent had delayed transactions and three percent had lost transactions.


On January 7, 2019, NAR invited a random sample of 52,000 active REALTORS® to fill out an online survey regarding the Federal Government Shutdown.  A total of 2,211 useable responses were received for an overall response rate of 4.2 percent.  At the 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.09 percent.

Additional Information

For more information on What a Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS® go to,

©2019 National Association of REALTORS® All Rights Reserved.


Jeffrey Morgan

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