Cities may be putting more social distancing measures in place to control the spread of COVID-19, but physical distance is not lessening consumers’ views on buying a home in the future. A new survey released by Point2 Homes, an online real estate marketplace, shows that home buyer sentiment remains resilient despite the global pandemic.
Point2 Homes surveyed 2,900 visitors to its site from March 23 to 26 to learn their views on the short- and long-term impact the coronavirus will have on their home search. Researchers found the 45 to 54 age group is the most optimistic about buying at this time. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they are still looking to buy a home, regardless of the outbreak. Respondents over age 65, on the other hand, showed more reluctance. Twenty-seven percent of respondents over the age of 65 said they have halted any actions in purchasing a new home at this time.
Overall, 34% of respondents said they are determined to buy a home in the next six months, and 25% said they plan to over the next year, the survey shows.
Concerns over the coronavirus aren’t derailing many home buyers’ plans either. Forty-one percent of respondents said they have no major concerns about buying a home during this time. However, 31% said they do worry about their financial situation and how it might change what they can afford. Twelve percent also cited other issues, like worrying about the limited number of homes that will be available. Sixteen percent cited health and safety concerns over house hunting during this time.
Thirty-five percent of prospective home buyers said they were no longer actively searching for a home but keeping an eye on the market and waiting until the coronavirus outbreak comes to an end, the survey showed. Nineteen percent said they are determined to buy as soon as they find the right home.
More than a quarter of respondents said they’ve started looking for cheaper properties, while 42% of respondents said they haven’t made any changes to the homes they’re looking for, the survey shows.
Many are continuing their house hunt but using virtual tools to do it. Forty-four percent of aspiring buyers say they’ve put their focus on online tools to continue their search, such as putting more emphasis on property pictures, descriptions, and virtual tours.
“The reality at the moment is that many Americans are keeping their eye on the market, or are even actively searching for properties online,” Point2 Homes said in the study. “At the current pace of change, it remains to be seen how many will succeed and how many will put their plans on hold for the time being.”
Source: “Flash Survey Homebuyer Sentiment: U.S. Still Optimistic Despite Outbreak,” Point2Homes (March 26, 2020)