How COVID Is Changing Buyers’ Behavior
The most recent issue of Realtor Today reports that brokers across the nation are seeing changes as a result of COVID in their markets. Certainly the spring market, delayed by the pandemic shutdown, is making up for lost momentum during the summer months and price appreciation remains strong.
But the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports other insights that show how buyers’ behavior is changing during the health crisis.
Buyers are in a rush. Last year, buyers looked at an average of 9 homes before submitting a contract to buy. This year, they’re looking at only 3 to 4 homes before making a decision to write an offer. Nationally, homes are selling in an average of 24 days--it’s taking 38 days in our foothills. Buyers are apparently acting with greater urgency now.
Wish lists are shifting. Home shoppers are changing some of their priorities. A top feature today is a home office--or more than one--or extra bedroom(s) to accommodate one. Also, buyers are focusing on outdoor spaces, like expansive patios, gardens and acreage.
Buyers are less concerned about commutes. As remote work grows, nearly a quarter of surveyed Realtors said their buyers are less concerned about commute time. Freedom from the bounds of the commute allows buyers to escape city settings in favor of suburbs and small towns.
Multigenerational households are growing. ‘Sandwich generation’ buyers may seek out larger homes as more generations, including aging parents and adult children, all come under the same roof. Also, a primary reason for a move before the pandemic was a new job. Now, many moves by young Millennials are driven by the desire to be near family or friends, as the family unit appears to becoming more important. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which allow for a separate living area for family, guests or rental income are also coming into vogue.
Pets are driving more decisions. The pandemic has sparked a surge in households that want a pet and pets can influence when and where people buy. Over 40% of households report they’d be willing to move to better accommodate their pet for amenities like a fenced-in yard, a nearby pet park or extra space to roam.
First-time homebuyer profiles are changing. In the 1980s, 75% of first-time buyers were married. In 2019, that figure dropped to 53%. Unmarried couples are buying homes at the highest level ever recorded by NAR as roommates pool their incomes to purchase a home together. And if young professionals become less tied to a metro area for work, they may move to more affordable places further out.
Housing tenure may fall. Homeowners are staying put in their homes longer than they have in the past--an average of 10 years, which is longer than the traditional 5-7 year average. But consumers may start to question whether their home fits their current needs and, with interest rates at all-time lows, they may look for a home that they can work from, has more yard space to relax and has more room for kids & guests.
All these changes bode well for foothills housing and Tupper’s Team is seeing these new trends reflected in conversations with our clients. If you are interested in discussing how they affect your individual circumstances, call or email us at 720-248-8757 or [email protected].