Learn Where REALTORS® Think the Market Is Heading

By Lisa Sturtevant, PhD
Chief Economist, Virginia REALTORS®

The Virginia REALTORS® Confidence Survey gathers information from REALTORS® on local housing markets based on their experiences with real estate transactions in the past month. This month’s Confidence Survey was conducted between August 25 and August 29, 2021 and reflects housing market conditions in August 2021. A total of 647 Virginia REALTORS® members responded to the survey, including 551 who had participated in a home sales transaction in the prior 30 days.

Current Market Conditions

According to Virginia REALTORS®, both buyer and seller activity weakened in August compared to July. The Buyer Activity Index fell from 77 in July to 68 in August. On the seller side, the activity index fell from 41 in July to 38 in August.

Fewer than half of REALTORS® (47.7%) rated the level of buyer activity in their local market as “high to very high” in August, which is down from 59.0% in July. The share of REALTORS® rating local buyer activity as “low to very low” more than doubled from 5.6% in July to 11.5% in August.

According to survey respondents, about a third of home buyers in Virginia in August were first-time buyers. About 18% of purchases were all-cash purchases during the month, 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 has also weakened in August, according to Virginia REALTORS®. About 18% of respondents reported that seller activity was “high to very high” in their local market in August, down from 22.1% in July. The share stating that seller activity was “low to very low” increased from 39.2% in July to 41.6% in August.

Market Outlook

Compared to last month, respondents to our August REALTOR® Confidence Survey were somewhat more restrained about the market over the next three months.

About 35% of respondents indicated that they thought buyer activity would be strong in their local market in three months (i.e., in November), while 50.8% reported that they expect buyer activity to be stable and 8.3% said they expect buyer activity in their local market to be weak over the next three months.

A much smaller share of REALTORS® feel like seller activity will be strong in three months. Just 16.4% of respondents to our August survey reported that they expect seller activity to be strong in three months, 53.7% said they think seller activity will be stable, and 23.1% believe seller activity will be weak in their local market by November.

Compared to a last month, this month’s survey respondents are slightly less optimistic about price growth over the next three months. About 44% of survey respondents expect prices to rise in their local markets, while nearly a quarter (24%) reported that they expect prices to fall.

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 +/- 3.9%.

Responses to our surveys are confidential. We do not look at individual responses but rather report data in the aggregate.

For more information about Virginia’s housing market, check out our most recent home sales reportlocal housing market data, or Facebook Live.

Click here to send any comments or questions about this piece to Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.