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 8th and 9th, 2020, we asked REALTORS® to compare conditions in the housing market now to what they were seeing a month ago, in the early weeks of COVID-19. We received responses from 850 Virginia REALTORS® across the Commonwealth.
Buyer Activity in the Market
Some REALTORS® are seeing an uptick in buyer interest and activity in the market. There are still markets where buyer activity remains weaker; however, activity remains higher in Virginia compared to other places in the U.S.
- About 45% of Virginia REALTORS® say that, compared to a month ago, buyer activity in their market has increased modestly or substantially.
- However, 37.5% of Virginia REALTORS® indicate that there is somewhat or substantially less buyer activity now compared to a month ago. Another 17.3% say that there has been no change in the market.
- Conditions have improved faster in Virginia than in many other places around the U.S. According to a May 3-4 survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, only 11% of REALTORS® reported that there has been an increase in buyer activity compared to a month ago.
The survey results suggest that prices are holding firmer here in Virginia compared to other places in the country:
- More than half (54%) of Virginia REALTORS® report that buyers are not expecting lower prices in the market. By comparison, only 41% of REALTORS® nationally say that there are no expectations of price drops among buyers.
- Among Virginia REALTORS® who do say buyers are expecting lower prices, typically the expectations are for modest drops. About a quarter (23%) indicate buyers are expecting a price decline of less than 5%.
- REALTORS® nationally are seeing buyers expecting bigger declines in prices. For example, about one in five REALTORS® nationally (19%) say buyers are expecting prices to fall by more than 10%. By contrast, only 7% of Virginia REALTORS® say buyers are expecting prices to decline by more than 10%.
- More than three-quarters of Virginia REALTORS® (76%) say that they have had no sellers reduce their list price to attract buyers. This is about the same as the share of REALTORS® nationally (73%).
- One in five Virginia REALTORS® (20%) say that sellers are reducing prices by less than 5%. Nationally, REALTORS® report bigger price reductions among sellers compared to what Virginia REALTORS® have been experiencing.
A note about surveys: This is not a randomized sample survey of Virginia REALTORS® members. Larger sample sizes generally make it easier 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 between +/- 3.3% and +/- 3.7%.
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 p.m. 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).
This article is originated from Virginia REALTORS®