The spread of coronavirus upended almost everything in 2020 with lockdowns and other public health interventions disrupting daily life. How did the pandemic affect potential home buyers this year? According to a recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Trends Report, online survey results showed the spread of COVID-19 did not change home purchasing plans for many Americans this year.
According to the report, the share of Americans who are considering the purchase of a home in the next 12 months was 11 percent in the second quarter of 2020, essentially flat when compared to the same quarter in 2019 (12 percent). The survey finding indicates that the overall propensity of Americans who want to buy a home has not been impacted by the pandemic.
However, generational differences among potential home buyers was stark. In the second quarter of 2020, millennials — adults 24 to 39 years old — were the generation most likely to want to buy a home (19 percent), a sentiment slightly higher than a year earlier (17 percent). In contrast, Boomers, adults 56 to 74 years old, were the least likely to plan for a home purchase (five percent).
Home purchasing plans by region were similar. The share of survey respondents who were prospective home buyers was unchanged in the Northeast (10 percent) and South (12 percent), essentially flat in the West (13 percent), and just slightly lower in the Midwest (down from 11 percent to nine percent) from the previous year.
One of the challenges home buyers are encountering this year, in addition to affordability, is a delay in their home search due to the rising number of multiple offers on the same property. The survey found that nearly a third (30 percent) of active buyers reported getting outbid by another buyer in the second quarter of 2020, significantly higher than the comparable 18 percent share a year earlier.
For house hunters who have been actively searching for a home for at least three months, more than half (51 percent) say they will continue looking for the “right” home in the same preferred location; while 37 percent will expand their search area; and less than a quarter (21 percent) is willing to accept a smaller/older home.
For more information about home buying in Massachusetts contact your local association here.