December 7, 2023 - Sejal Naik
On-the-Ground Housing Market Conditions: Results from the Virginia REALTORS® Confidence Survey
By Lisa Sturtevant, PhD
Chief Economist, Virginia REALTORS®
The Virginia REALTORS® Confidence Survey gathers information from REALTORS® on local housing markets based on real estate transactions in the past month. The Confidence Survey was conducted between July 28 and August 1, 2021 and reflects housing market conditions in July 2021. A total of 736 Virginia REALTORS® members responded to the survey, including 634 who had participated in a home sales transaction in the prior 30 days.
Virginia REALTORS® Confidence Survey: July 2021 Highlights
|Buyer Activity Index a||77|
|Seller Activity Indexa||41|
|Buyer Activity Index: 3-Month Outlookb||68|
|Seller Activity Index: 3-Month Outlookb||50|
Current Market Conditions
|First-time Homebuyers, as a Percent of All Sales||31|
|Cash Sales, as a Percent of All Sales||16|
|Sales as Non-Primary Residence, as a Percent of All Sales||16|
|Average Number of Offers, Most Recent Transaction||3.5|
|Percent of Respondents Who Expect Strong Buyer Activity in 3 Months||44|
|Percent of Respondents Who Expect Strong Seller Activity in 3 Months||24|
|Percent of Respondents Who Expect Prices to Rise in 3 Months||50|
|Percent of Respondents Who Expect Prices to Fall in 3 Months||20|
|Percent of Respondents Who Expect Prices to Remain Unchanged in 3 Months||27|
a An index greater than 50 indicates more respondents reported the level of activity as “high to very high” than reported the level of activity as “low to very low.”
b An index greater than 50 indicates more respondents expect future activity to be “strong” than expect future activity to be “weak”.
Current Market Conditions
Buyer activity continues to be strong. Nearly six out of ten survey respondents (59.0%) rated the level of buyer activity in their local market as “high to very high” compared to just 5.6% who rated local buyer activity as “low to very low.”
According to our June 2021 Home Sales report, homes have continued to sell more quickly, with the average days on market falling to 19. Virginia REALTORS® reported that in July, homes that sold had an average of 3.5 offers, though some REALTORS® reported as many as 20 offers on a home.
About a third of home buyers in July were first-time buyers. About 16% of purchases were all-cash purchases in July, and about 16% of buyers were purchasing a home for a non-primary residence use (e.g., rental property, second home, vacation home).
Seller activity is not as strong as buyer activity. Less than a quarter of respondents (22.1%) said that seller activity was “high to very high” in their local market, while 39.2% rated seller activity as “low to very low.”
In our REALTOR® Confidence Survey, most respondents reported that they expect buyer activity to cool slightly and seller activity to pick up a bit over the next three months.
About 44% of respondents indicated that they thought buyer activity would be strong in their local market in three months (i.e., in October), while 43% expect buyer activity to be stable and 7.5% said they expect buyer activity in their local market to be weak over the next three months.
By comparison, 23.8% of respondents reported that they expect seller activity to be strong in three months, 46.0% said they think seller activity will be stable, and 22.9% believe seller activity will be weak in their local market in October.
About half of survey respondents expect prices to rise in the next three months while about 20% are expecting prices to fall in their local market. About a quarter (26.8%) said that they expect prices to remain the same and three percent of respondents reported that they were not sure where prices are headed.
There is a lot of variation in expectations about prices. The single largest share (29.8%) reported that, compared to last year, they expect home prices will rise by between one and five percent over the next three months. More than one in five (20.4%) expect prices to rise by six percent or more in their local markets.
However, there are some REALTORS® who are expecting prices to fall in their local markets. About 12.7% of respondents said they think prices will fall by between one and five percent. About 7.3% of respondents expect prices in their local market to fall by six percent or more.
A note about surveys: This is not a randomized sample survey of Virginia REALTORS® members. However, the number of responses and the geographic coverage of respondents make it possible to draw conclusions about the opinions and expectations of Virginia REALTORS®. These statistics from this survey have a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.
Responses to our surveys are confidential. We do not look at individual responses but rather report data in the aggregate.