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Some Buyers Ready to Move Now, Thanks to COVID-19

By: Kelly Leighton on in

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted 75% of people’s homebuying plans, a new survey found.

But for 25% of would-be buyers, the pandemic has influenced them to want to move from their current place or has led them to want to move sooner than they had expected, Redfin found in a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. residents. Sixteen percent said the pandemic makes them want to move, while 15% said it makes them want to move sooner than planned, equaling 25% of total respondents, as more than one answer was allowed. Why are people looking to move?

Twenty-one percent said they’re planning to move because they now want a home office, or at least a space to work from home, and the same percentage is looking for more outdoor space. The historically low mortgage rates are cited as the top reason buyers are adjusting their plans, said 55%. Additionally, 52% said they are spending more time at home, leading them to change their minds. Forty percent said working from home more often is the reason their plans have changed.

With less people commuting, and some jobs being turned fully remote, a quarter of respondents said they hope to live somewhere less expensive and 22% said financial concerns are impacting their homebuying process. Concerns about COVID-19 are leading 20% of people to want to move, while remote learning is the cause for 18% of buyers.

However, 20% said they are delaying their homebuying process due to the pandemic, while 17% said they are now looking for a less expensive property than pre-pandemic.

Buyers Still Motivated, Despite Pandemic Challenges

“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.”

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