The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) survey gathers monthly information from REALTORS® about local real estate market conditions, characteristics of buyers and sellers, and issues affecting homeownership and real estate transactions.1 This report presents key results about market transactions from the December 2020 survey.
Key Market Indicators
- The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 71 (60 in December 2019).2
- The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 39 (43 in December 2019).2
- Properties were typically on the market for 21 days (41 days in December 2019).
- First-time buyers accounted for 31% of sales (31% in December 2019).
- Cash sales made up 19% of sales (20% in December 2019)
- The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index: 3-Month Outlook registered at 74
- The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index: 3-Month Outlook registered at 53
- REALTORS® expect a 2.4 increase in home sales in the next 3 months vs the same period one year ago.
- REALTORS® expect a 2.3 increase in home prices in the next 3 months vs the same period one year ago.
- REALTORS® expect a 2.3 increase in home prices in the next 12 months from December 2020.
Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers
- From October 2020 - December 2020, 64% of contracts settled on time.
- Among rent options to assist residential tenants, the most common options were options to pay over the next coming months (41%), rent abatement (23%), frequent smaller payments (22%), none at all (12%), and other options (1%).
- REALTORS® report “Low-inventory” as the major issues affecting transactions in December 2020.
About the RCI 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 December 2020 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s more than 1.4 million members through simple random sampling and to 5,949 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
- There were 4,375 respondents to the online survey which ran from January 4-12, 2020, of which 2,203 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.
The REALTORS® Confidence Index is provided by NAR solely for use as a reference. Resale of any part of this data is prohibited without NAR's prior written consent. For questions on this report or to purchase the RCI series, please email: Data@realtors.org
1 Respondents report on the characteristics of their most recent sale for the month.
2 An index greater than 50 means more respondents reported conditions as “strong” compared to one year ago than “weak.” An index of 50 indicates a balance of respondents who viewed conditions as “strong” or “weak.”