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How COVID-19 Is Reshaping the Market

A survey conducted by Redfin [1] revealed that homebuyers are feeling pressured to change their home purchasing plans due to the pandemic.

The survey noted this trend in migrations due, in large part, to low mortgage rates. However, other factors affecting this decision to move involve people spending more time at home, with many them now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey was conducted by Redfin from July 19-21, with more than 1,000 respondents stating that they were planning on purchasing a home within the coming year. The survey revealed that 75% of homebuyers said the arrival of COVID-19 [2] has directly affected their home purchasing plans. A quarter of these respondents said that the current crisis has also caused them to speed up their timeline for moving. Others (20%) reported delaying their move due to the pandemic. Also of note were the 17% of respondents who now seeking a less expensive property than they had first envisioned following the financial fallout from the virus.

Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather commented on this shift in homebuyer trends and how the pandemic has directly shaped it: “Somewhat counterintuitively, the coronavirus-driven recession is propping up the housing market. Homebuyer demand is surging despite GDP taking a historic nosedive in the second quarter, largely because Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing even as they cut back on other expenses.”

Fairweather added, “Additionally, the Fed is using low interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is giving buyers more purchasing power and boosting home sales. But even with low rates, widespread unemployment and financial uncertainty mean not everyone who wants to buy a home is able to.”

Regarding what homebuyers are most desiring in their new abodes, the vast majority of survey respondents voiced their desire for more space, with 21% specifying a designated work area within the home at the top of the list. More outdoor space and a larger house in general were also highly valued assets among respondents, as well as a designated space that could be used for homeschooling.