Coronavirus is Starting to Impact Home Buying Behavior

According to a new report by the National Association of Realtors, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. home sellers nationwide are changing how their home is viewed while the home remains on the market due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The changes include cancelling open houses, requiring potential buyers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, asking buyers to remove shoes or wear footies, as well as other changes.

The percentage of sellers adopting these and other changes climbs to 44 percent and 34 percent, respectively, in Washington State and California.

NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted March 9-10, 2020 – asked members questions about how the coronavirus outbreak, including the significant declines in stock market values and mortgage interest rates, has impacted homebuyer and seller interest and behavior.

Other Highlights of NAR’s Member Survey:

  • 37% said lower mortgage rates excited homebuyers much more than the stock market correction.
  • Almost 8 out of 10 (78%) said there has been no change in buyer interest due to the coronavirus.
  • 16% said buyer interest has decreased due to coronavirus, with members in California and Washington State citing larger decreases in buyer interest – 21% and 19%, respectively.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 members (87%) said coronavirus has not affected the number of homes on the market.
  • In Washington State and California, 5% and 4% of members, respectively, reported homes were removed from the market. That figure is 3% for members nationwide.