buyer traffic  index

Buyer Traffic Continued to Outpace Supply in Many States in April–June 2016

In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) asks members How do you rate the past month’s traffic in the neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” NAR compiles the responses on buyer traffic into a REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index and the responses on seller traffic into a REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index. The maps below show the condition of buyer and seller traffic using data collected from April‒June 2016, according to the June 2016 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report.

Local conditions vary in each state, but the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index indicates that markets were “strong” to “very strong” in all states except in Delaware and Connecticut where buyer traffic was “weak” and Alaska and Oklahoma where buyer traffic was “moderate.”[1]

buyer traffic  indexAmid strong demand, seller traffic was “weak” in many states, measured by the REALTORS® Sellers Traffic Index.[2] However, seller traffic was “moderate” to “strong” in several states, including those that had benefited from the oil boom but who are now facing slower job growth due to lingering lower oil and natural resources prices—North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas. With the collapse of oil prices, the slower job growth and job cutbacks in oil-producing states are likely leading to more home selling and a shift to a buyer’s market.[3]seller trafficJob creation is strongly associated with the demand and supply of homes: strong job growth improves the prospect for homeownership, while job contraction in an area may lead to more homes being sold as people move out of the area. The chart below shows the change in non-farm employment in May 2016 from the levels in May 2015 by state. Non-farm employment increased strongly in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Florida where homebuying demand has been robust as well. On the other hand, employment contracted in the oil-producing states of Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana (also in Maine, although it is not an oil-producing state). In states with negative or low employment growth such as North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, there are more REALTOR® respondents who reported “strong” than “weak’ seller traffic.

percent change


[1] The index for each state is based on data for the last three months to increase the observations for each state. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. Respondents were asked “How do you rate the past month’s buyer traffic in the neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” Respondents rated conditions or expectations as “Strong (100),” “Moderate (50),” and “Weak (0).” The responses are compiled into a diffusion index. For graphical purposes, index values 25 and lower are labeled “Very weak,” values greater than 25 to 49 are labeled “Weak,” a value of 50 is labeled “Moderate,” values greater than 50 to 75 are labeled “Strong,” and values greater than 76 are labeled “Very strong.”

[2] Respondents were asked “How do you rate the past month’s seller traffic in the neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” Respondents rated conditions or expectations as “Strong (100),” “Moderate (50),” and “Weak (0).” The responses are compiled into a diffusion index. A value of 50 indicates a balance of respondents who reported “Strong “and “Weak” markets. For graphical purposes, index values 25 and lower are labeled “Very weak,” values greater than 25 to 49 are labeled “Weak,” a value of 50 is labeled “Moderate,” values greater than 50 to 75 are labeled “Strong,” and values greater than 76 are labeled “Very strong.”