The Virginia REALTORS® has conducted a weekly survey of members since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, asking members if and how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted home buyer and seller interest and behavior. During the survey conducted May 1st and 2nd, 2020, we also asked how Virginia REALTORS® are coping personally with COVID-19 and the stay-at-home directive. We received responses from 1,167 Virginia REALTORS® across the Commonwealth.
Buyer and Seller Interest and Behavior
Results from this week’s survey provide indications that some REALTORS® are seeing improved market conditions as we head into May.
Highlights from the survey of Virginia REALTORS® members include:
- Significantly fewer REALTORS® said they had buyers postponing their home search. Over the week ending May 2nd, 42.1% of REALTORS® said they had a buyer decide to delay home searching. By comparison, about a month earlier, over the week ending March 28th, nearly 60% of REALTORS® said they had a buyer postponing.
- REALTORS® indicate that fewer sellers are hitting pause on listing their home. Over the week ending May 2nd, just 8.7% of REALTORS® in Virginia said they had a seller withdrawn his or her home completely from the market, and 36.4% said they were postponing bring new listings to the market. These shares are down notably from responses from the week ending March 28th.
- While the vast majority of REALTORS® are still feeling the effects of COVID-19, nearly a quarter (22.9%) said this week that COVID-19 had had no impact on their business.
The survey results suggest that home prices may holder firmer in Virginia compared to other places around the country. According to Virginia REALTORS® members:
- Just over one in ten sellers (12%) are reducing prices in order to attract buyers. Nationwide, according to the National Association of REALTORS® most recent survey, about 24% of REALTORS® report that sellers are dropping prices.
- An estimated 30% of buyers in the market in Virginia are expecting to see lower prices; however, that share is more than double (64%) nationally.
COVID-19’s Impacts on REALTORS® Personally
It has been nearly two months since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Virginia and more than a month since the Governor issued the stay-at-home directive for Virginians. Many REALTORS® in Virginia have adopted new technologies and innovative business practices to keep real estate transactions going and remain upbeat about the housing market weathering this pandemic. However, there has undoubtedly been a personal impact of COVID-19 on our REALTOR® community.
- Virginia REALTORS® are missing personal contact with friends and family. More than 70% of REALTORS® say they miss visiting with friends and family in person and 50% say they are disappointed that they have had to miss important events, including birthdays, graduations and weddings.
- More than two out of five REALTORS® (42.4%) say they are struggling with financial challenges or uncertainties during COVID-19. An earlier survey found that many REALTORS® were having trouble accessing loans and grants from the Small Business Administration. Additional resources on financial assistance and unemployment benefits are available on the Virginia REALTORS® webpage.
- With K-12 schools closed for the rest of the academic year, many REALTORS® are balancing working from home with caring for—and teaching—children. About one in five REALTORS® (21.1%) say that they face challenges working from home with children at home.
- The uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic can put a stress on individual health and well-being. A small number of REALTOR® members have had to care for a family member that has contracted the virus. A larger share (7.5%) are dealing with personal health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 make inferences about the population of Virginia REALTORS®, with a certain level of confidence. The statistics from this survey have a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.
Virginia REALTORS® will continue to monitor the economic and housing market impacts of COVID-19 in Virginia. Please check the COVID-19 page on the Virginia REALTORS® website for updates. In addition, each Thursday afternoon at 4:00 pm we will host a Facebook Live on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the housing market. For more information, please contact Lisa Sturtevant (firstname.lastname@example.org).