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November 18, 2020

National Homebuying & Selling Before and After COVID-19

Last week the National Association of REALTORS® released one of the most anticipated studies in recent memory, the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This report is a yearly survey of recent home buyers and sellers who purchased in the last year, from July 2019 to June 2020. This report really allows those of us in the industry a very detailed look buying and selling behavior.

While every year is a unique snapshot where buyers and sellers purchase amid a changing economic environment, 2020 is especially distinctive as COVID-19 impacted Americans’ lives starting in March 2020. We are all hopeful for a vaccine to help regain some sort of normalcy in our lives, it remains apparent that this virus will be with us and influencing different aspects of our life for quite some time. With this information in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting national homebuying and selling trends:

Characteristics of Home Buyers. First-time buyers made up 31% of all home buyers, which is a slight dip from last year’s 33%. The typical buyer was 47 years old this year, and the median household income for 2019 rose again this year to $96,500. 12% of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost-saving. 18% of recent home buyers were veterans, and 2% were active-duty service members.

Home Buyers Before and During COVID-19. Buyers who purchased after March were more likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 15%, compared to 11% who purchased before April. Buyers who purchased after March have a shorter expected tenure in the home they purchased – only 10 years compared to those who purchased before the pandemic and expect to own their home for 15 years. 57% of buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased in a suburban location, compared with 50% of pre-pandemic buyers. Buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased a home that typically was $339,400 compared to pre-pandemic buyers who purchased a home that was $270,000. 23% of buyers who purchased after March purchased a home that was $500,000 or more.

Home Sellers Before and During COVID-19. The top reason for sellers before April to sell their home was because they wanted to be closer to friends and family. Home sellers who sold their home after March were more likely to report the main reason for selling was because their home was too small. Home sellers who sold after March were more likely to say they were somewhat urgent in their need to sell their home – 46% compared to 39% of those who sold before April. Sellers who sold after March were more likely to use technology as a marketing tool. The biggest difference seen is among those using virtual tours. 27% used virtual tours after March compared to 16% of those pre-April. Home sellers who sold after March sold their home for $300,000, while those who sold before April sold it for $270,000.

There’s one last piece of data I wanted to highlight. 89% of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home, and for recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median of 99% of the final listing price. What does this mean? It means that working with a REALTOR® will help make sure you’re getting the most from your real estate transaction. As Realtors, we have the latest tools and technology to serve our clients and community. That’s Who We R®.