Burns Resale Housing Market Index | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

Burns Real Estate Agent Survey

The Burns Real Estate Agent Survey gauges the pulse of the resale housing market in the US. The Burns Resale Housing Market Index (RHMI) is based on a proprietary monthly survey of real estate agents nationally.

Resale Market Gridlock Dampens Sales and Intensifies Pricing

May 2022
Our survey results show emerging impacts of soaring mortgage rates. The unusual blend of variables is producing opposing motivations for different groups, terrifying some and motivating others, thus creating gridlock in the housing market. We outline the mixed signals below:

  • Weaker current sales, with our Current Resale Sales Index falling for the fourth month in a row to 47 out of 100.
    • “I think the market has peaked.” (Orange County, CA)
    • “My transactions have slowed due to higher interest [rates] and higher prices. Clients want to ‘wait until the market crashes.’” (Tucson, AZ)
  • Increased buyer/seller urgency and FOMO for those who can still qualify, at a time when inventory remains anemically low, creating additional pricing pressure.
    • 95% of agents say buyers still outnumber sellers in the resale market.
    • 72% of March contracts received multiple offers, a new survey record.
    • Cash accounted for 21% of March sales, the second highest level in our survey.
    • “Buyers are ‘panic buying.’” (Baltimore, MD)
  • Some seller hesitation due to a lack of homes to move in to and today’s higher rates.
    • 80%+ of outstanding mortgage borrowers are “locked in” with rates below 5% as of 4Q21, creating a powerful incentive to stay in place and remodel.
  • Many entry-level and fixed-income move-down/55+ home buyers are now priced out of the market.
    • 87% of agents reported mostly rising home pieces in March (on top of the climbing rates), challenging affordability.
    • An Atlanta agent comments, “The first-time home buyer is having a hard time, especially when they are in the lower price bracket.” (Atlanta, GA)
  • 7% of contracts nationally have fallen through (cancelled) in the last 60 days, a small percentage for now.
    • According to agents, the number one reason contracts are being dropped is “buyer/seller got cold feet.”

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About John Burns Real Estate Consulting

John Burns Real Estate Consulting is an independent research provider and consulting firm focused on the housing industry. John Burns founded the company in 2001 because he saw a need for better analysis on the housing market. The company has grown to a highly passionate team of research analysts and consultants in offices across the country, who work together to provide the most trusted source of US housing analysis. John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s research subscribers receive the most accurate analysis possible to inform their macro investment decisions, and the company’s consulting clients receive specific property and portfolio investment advice designed to maximize profits.


Devyn Bachman If you have any questions about the Burns Real Estate Agent Survey or if you would like find out how to participate, please contact Devyn Bachman, Senior Vice President of Research at surveys@realestateconsulting.com.