Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

REALTORS® Confidence Index: September 2020 Highlights

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 September 2020 survey.

Key Market Indicators

  • The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 75 (55 in September 2019).2
  • The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 44 (45 in September 2019).2
  • Properties were typically on the market for 21 days (32 days in September 2019).
  • First-time buyers accounted for 31% of sales (33% in September 2019).
  • Cash sales made up 18% of sales (17% in September 2019)
Line graph: REALTORS® Buyer and Seller Traffic Indices, January 2008 to July 2020

Market Outlook

  • The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index: 3-Month Outlook registered at 66 (69 in August 2020).2
  • The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index: 3-Month Outlook registered at 44 (48 in August 2020).2
  • REALTORS® expect a 0.2 increase in home sales in the next 3 months vs the same period one year ago.
  • REALTORS® expect a 1.9 increase in home prices in the next 3 months vs the same period one year ago.
  • REALTORS® expect a 1.7 increase in home prices in the next 12 months from September 2020.
Bar chart: Sales Volume 3 Month Outlook

Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers

  • From July 2020 - September 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 (34%), none at all (32%), frequent smaller payments (18%), and rent abatement (16%).
  • REALTORS® report “low supply” as the major issue affecting transactions in September 2020.

REALTOR® Concerns

Word cloud: REALTOR® Concerns

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 September 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 7,722 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
  • There were 3,959 respondents to the online survey which ran from September 1–8, 2020, of which 2,139 had a client. Among those who had a client, the survey’s maximum margin of error for proportion estimates is 2% at the 95% 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.”

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