How Has the Pandemic Changed Buyer and Seller Behavior?


As the effects of the pandemic continue, the delayed spring market is definitely occurring now in the summer months. The housing market is seeing unprecedented monthly jumps in existing-home sales, and home price appreciation remains strong.

However, the pandemic has also changed some buyers’ and sellers’ behavior. Below are some findings at NAR’s “REvive! From Crisis” virtual conference:

Buyers are in a rush.

In 2019, buyers looked at an average of nine homes before making a home purchase. Now, they’re looking at three to four homes before initiating a contract. Homes are selling in an average of just 24 days, and more than a quarter of Realtors report greater urgency among buyers over recent weeks.

Pets could drive purchase decisions.

The pandemic sparked a surge in households that want a pet, and NAR surveys have found that pets can influence when and where people buy.

Buyers are less concerned about commutes.

As remote work grows, Realtors surveyed by NAR say their buyers are less concerned about commute time when home shopping, and that freedom has allowed some to expand their searches beyond city centers to the suburbs and exurbs. Also, second homes may be in greater demand.

A wave of first-time buyers?

Consumers may show more commitment to their home than long-term relationships. NAR research has found a rise in roommates pooling their incomes to purchase a home together. It’s only 4% of purchases now, but that’s the highest share NAR has ever recorded. If young professionals become less tied to a metro area for work, they may increase their purchases.

Housing tenure could fall.

Homeowners have been staying in the same home longer than they have in past which is longer than the traditional six-year average, and Americans aren’t moving longer distances like they did in the 1980s. But since cities issued stay-at-home restrictions during the pandemic, consumers may start to question whether their current home fits their current needs.

August 4, 2020.Florida Realtors. 11 How Has the Pandemic Changed Buyer and Seller Behavior?.

Retrieved from: https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/08/how-has-pandemic-changed-buyer-and-seller-behavior

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