Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

REALTORS® Reported Stronger Buyer Traffic in February 2018 Amid Healthy Job Growth

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents are asked “Compared to the same month last year, how would you rate the past month's traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” Respondents rate buyer traffic as “Stronger” (100), “Stable” (50), or “Weaker” (0) and the responses are compiled into a diffusion index. An index greater than 50 means that more respondents reported “stronger” than “weaker” conditions.

The chart below shows buyer traffic conditions in December 2017–February 2018 compared to conditions one year ago, according to the  February 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index SurveyExcept in four states, REALTORS® reported that buyer conditions were “strong” to “very strong” compared to conditions one year ago.[1]  Buyer traffic conditions were “very strong” in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, and the District of Columbia. An index greater than 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” than “weaker” buyer traffic conditions during the month compared to one year ago.

A healthy economy and the solid pace of job creation continues to drive homebuying demand. Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington are states with the healthiest job growth (above two percent.

Use the data visualization below to check out the states with the strongest employment growth since 2012.  Orange areas have employment rates above two percent.

Nationally, the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 70 (69 in January 2018; 70 in February 2017), while the REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index was at 44 (44 in January 2018; 41 in February 2017). An index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported stronger than weaker conditions compared to one year ago, so the data indicates that homebuying demand continues to outpace supply.

Supply has generally not kept pace with demand. Seller conditions were “weak” in 25 states and in the District of Columbia, and in many states, seller traffic conditions have not changed compared to one year ago. However, respondents from Wyoming, North Dakota, Nevada, and Alaska mostly reported that seller traffic has increased compared to one year ago.

[1] In generating the indices, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. For graphical purposes, index values from 25.01 to 45 are labeled “Weak,” values of 45.01 to 55 are labeled “Stable,” values of 55.01 to 75 are labeled “Strong,” and values greater than 75 are labeled “Very Strong.”