Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

February 2022 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: Buyer Competition Intensifies to 5 Offers Per Home Sold

With the onset of the spring market, the expectation of rising mortgage rates, and fewer active listings compared to one year ago, buyer competition intensified in February, according to the February 2022 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey report, a monthly survey of REALTORS® about their residential transactions.

On average, there were nearly five offers for every home sold, a higher rate compared the prior month and one year ago (3.9 in the prior month, 4.1 one year ago). Respondents reported more than five offers on average in Massachusetts, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and California.1

Line graph: Offers Received Per Sold Property, October 2015 to February 2022

48% of buyers offered above the list price, typically at $10,000

Forty-eight percent of buyers' offers were above the list price (46% in the prior month), with 13% of offers at 10% above the list price (12.2% in the prior month). On average, offer list price was 2.9% over the list price (2.3% in the prior month).

Based on the median sales price of $357,300 in February (that would incorporate the 2.9% premium), a buyer typically offered $10,000 more than the asking price.2
Pie chart: Distribution of buyer offers compared to asking price as of February 2022

Typical buyer loses 2 home offers before succeeding 3rd try

According to REALTORS® who reported on the number of offers the buyer previously made (and lost), buyers typically made two offers before a successful third offer. However, 25% of buyers are successful in closing on a home on the first try. Working with a REALTOR® who knows local market conditions can help home buyers to make a good offer.

84% of listings get sold in one month

Eighty-four percent of listings were on the market for less than one month (79% in the prior month, 74% one year ago). Competition has become more intense since the housing market's recovery in 2012. In January 2012, only 21% of listings were on the market for less than one month while 28% of properties were on the market for at least six months. That situation has significantly reversed over time, with only two percent of properties on the market for at least six months.

With homebuying demand still outpacing supply, properties typically stayed on the market for a shorter time compared to one year ago, at 18 days (19 days in the prior month, 20 days one year ago).

Line graph: Percent of properties sold in less than one month and in at least six months, May 2011 to November 2021

Competition to intensify in 2022 before waning

Competition could intensify in 2022 before waning in 2023 as home buyers compete to lock in at the current rates. Mortgage rates may rise more steeply in 2023. The federal funds rate is likely to hit 2.8% in 2023 and hold at that level in 2024, according to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) March 16, 2022 forecast.3 Since 2000, the spread between the federal funds rate and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has averaged 3.3%, so mortgage rates could hit 6% in 2023 if the FOMC sticks to the course of planned increases as of the March 2022 meeting. Risks to global economic growth and the U.S. economy could delay the planned increase.

As competition intensifies, first-time buyers with incomes of about $70,000 - $80,000 will not be able to afford a home. Among 25-to-44-year-old renter households, 1.4 million will not be able to afford a home if mortgage rates rise from 3.6% to 4.5%.

However, household earning above $80,467 will be able to afford a home and some of these renter households who may have earlier planned on buying a home later may decide to buy sooner in 2022 to beat the rising mortgage rates.
Table: Impact of higher mortgage payment on 25-44 renter households

About the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey

The RCI Survey gathers information from REALTORS® about local market conditions based on their client interactions and the characteristics of their most recent sales for the month. The February 2022 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR's more than 1.5 million members through simple random sampling and to 5,070 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses. There were 3,324 respondents to the online survey which ran from March 1-8, 2022, of which 1,588 had a client. Among those who had a client, the survey's maximum margin of error for proportion estimates is two percent at the 95 percent confidence level. The margins of error for subgroups are larger. NAR weights the responses by a factor that aligns the sample distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR membership. Contact for more information about this important survey.

1 The survey data provided by NAR is intended to be used as an indicator of market trends. State/local associations are the primary source of accurate local market information.

2 If the median sales price is $357,300 and this incorporates a 2.9% offer premium, the implied price without a premium is $347,230, and so the premium would be $10,070.

3 March 16, 2022 FOMC projections,