Of respondents, 92% stated that a portion of their buyers have either returned to or never left the market. Among those members, 18% reported that their buyers never left the market at all, and 9% said that all of their buyers have already returned to the market. Small towns and rural areas were more likely to report that there had been no pause in buyer activity and were also more likely to report a stronger return of buyers to the market.
“The residential market has seen a swift rebound of activity as numerous states have begun to ease mandatory stay-at-home orders,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Many potential buyers and homesellers were kept at bay in the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak, but Realtors® nationwide were able to quickly pivot, embracing technology and business practices to ensure the homebuying process continued in a safe manner.”
In terms of seller activity, 89% of Realtors® said a share of their clients have either returned to the market or never delisted their property. Roughly one-quarter of respondents, or 24%, indicated that their sellers never left the market. Suburban and urban markets are more likely to have reported fewer sellers returning to the market compared to small and rural markets.
Of those who are currently working with buyers, 54% said that their buyers’ timelines to find and purchase a home has remained the same, while 27% report that their clients now express more urgency about buying a home.
Among NAR membership currently working with sellers, two-thirds said that their sellers’ timelines to sell have remained the same. Twenty-three percent reported sellers who feel more urgency to sell their property. Less urgency was cited more frequently in urban areas and in suburban areas or small towns and rural markets.
“A number of potential buyers noted stalled plans due to the pandemic and that has led to more urgency and a pent-up demand to buy,” said Yun. “After being home for months on end – in a home they already wanted to leave – buyers are reminded how much their current home may lack certain desired features or amenities.”
Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of Demographics and Behavioral Insights, said agent trust remains at an “all-time high.” “Buyers are relying more on a real estate agent, with 89% reporting they use an agent to sell their home. Agent-assisted sales are also at 89%, while FSBOs are at an all-time low at 8%,” she said.
“Half of the members surveyed also reported that clients are contacting them to ask questions about how to fix their home to prepare it for sale,” she added. “DIY projects continue to be popular with homeowners who are spending more time at home.”
Lautz said the industry’s reliance on technology will only increase. “Consumers are enjoying the new way to see a home through virtual tours with Realtors®. They can ask the Realtor® to show them the inside of the closet and provide them with custom tours. These types of immediate virtual tours are help Realtors® to build trust with their clients and provide a new way to build relationships.”
“Home is more important than ever before, and ownership has become a key priority for many, particularly those who have never bought a home before,” said D. Steve Boland, president of retail at Bank of America. “Owning a home has historically helped families create a legacy and enabled them to build long-term wealth.”
According to a recent LendingTree survey, nearly two-thirds of buyers surveyed said they would go over budget for the perfect house. In fact, 76% of millennials said they would go over budget for a home.