Measuring the Impact of the Coronavirus on Home Buying and Home Selling

    On May 17 and 18, NAR conducted a flash survey of members on the impact of the coronavirus on their market. Of those who are working with home sellers with active listings, the majority reported changing how their clients’ homes are viewed while the home remains on the market. 92% reported that home sellers have made changes, including stopping open houses or requiring all those who enter the home to take appropriate precautions before entering the home.

    Tenants Paying Rent

    Of those who work with residential tenants, 38% of property managers cited having no issues with their tenants paying the rent, compared to 60% of individual landlords. Forty-two percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate their tenants who cannot pay rent and 17% cited it being difficult. Among individual landlords, 25% of individual landlords reported being able to accommodate their tenants who cannot pay rent and 12% cited it being difficult. Small portions (less than 10%) of property managers and individual landlords reported tenants terminating their leases.

    Bar graph: Coronavirus Effect on Ability To Pay Rent

    Social Distancing and Transactions

    Thirty-four percent of members were able to complete nearly all aspects of transactions while respecting social distance. With minor modifications such as using masks and gloves, 45% felt person-to-person interactions were still required. Six percent postponed home searching and 11% stated that the mandate of stay-at-home prevents them from completing transactions.

    Home Buyer Behavior

    Thirty-four percent of members reported buyers are delaying their home purchase for a couple of months. Nineteen percent stopped looking due to concern about losing their job. Ten percent reported members are continuing the process, but only relying on virtual communication. Six percent reported clients are deciding not to buy or sell indefinitely. Twenty-three percent reported there is no change in client behavior, and they continue to meet in person.

    Interest in Buying Homes

    Sixty-four percent of members cited a decline in buyer interest. Twenty-four percent reported a decline by more than 50%. Eighteen percent of members cited no change in activity and 18% cited an increase in activity.

    Twenty-two percent of members who worked with a buyer who put a contract on a home this week reported at least one buyer only saw that home virtually.

    Bar graph: Coronavirus Effect on Decision To Buy a Home

    Buyer Expectations of Home Prices

    Forty-five percent of members said buyers are not expecting lower home prices. Nineteen percent expect a less than five percent decrease, with 20% expecting a decrease by five to 10%.

    Home Seller Behavior

    Similar to buyers' behaviors, 38% of members reported sellers are delaying their home sale for a couple of months. Thirteen percent reported members are continuing the process, but only relying on virtual communication. Seven percent reported clients are deciding not to buy or sell indefinitely. Twenty percent reported there is no change in client behavior, and they continue to meet in person.

    Of those who are working with home sellers with active listings, the majority reported changing how their clients' homes are viewed while the home remains on the market. Ninety-two percent reported that home sellers have made changes, including stopping open houses or requiring all those who enter the home to take appropriate precautions before entering home.

    Bar graph: Coronavirus Effect on Decision To Sell a Home

    Sellers Reduced Listing Price of Home

    Sixty-six percent of members reported working with home sellers. Of those who are currently working with sellers, 68% said that no sellers have reduced the price to attract buyers. Nineteen percent reported sale prices reduced by less than 5%. Only 2% reported reductions of more than 15%.

    Residential Closing Delays

    Of those who are closing residential transactions, 43% have reported no closing delays. Delays in closing happened for a number of reasons including delays with financing, buyers no longer qualifying due to loss of job, home inspections, final walk-throughs, title searches, and in-person signatures.

    Bar graph: Residential Transaction Delays

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