According to George Ratiu, Senior Economist for Realtor.com living in the age of social distancing has sparked changes in the housing market. The COVID-19 outbreak and increase in cases has confined most Americans to their houses. With more and more Americans filing for unemployment, the economy has suffered. This has halted retail spending and industrial production across the nation. The housing market is having to restructure and adapt to these drastic changes. During the first two weeks of April, Realtor.com conducted a survey to determine how consumers looking to buy a home and home buying conditions have changed. The study revealed a shift, due to prolonged home stays, remote work challenges and benefits, and the rise of technological solutions.
When young buyers and parents were asked about their living situation since the pandemic, roughly 82% reported they hadn’t seen a change. 8.5% responded that they moved in with immediate family. There were notable differences when looking at respondents by age. More of the younger respondents, who were under the age of 34, experienced a change in their living situation. 16.3% moved in with a partner and 17.4% moved with immediate family. Within the 35-54 age group, 5.1% moved in with a partner and 8.1 moved in with immediate family. 1.8% of respondents over the age of 55 moved in with a partner and 1.3% moved with immediate family. In addition, the study found that a larger amount of parents with children experienced change compared to parents without minors. Around 88% of consumers without minors reported no change in their living situation, and 12% answered that they moved to be with a partner, family, or a roommate. In comparison, 27% of parents living with minors experienced a change: 17% moved in with family, 8.2 with a partner, and 1.9% with a roommate.
Realtor.com’s study implicated that upcoming moves would favor buying. Consumers were asked if they would rent or buy if they had to move within the next six months. 53% of those surveyed stated they would buy, however of those who are currently renting, 81% would rent. Out of the homeowners questioned, 78% would prefer to buy. Not surprisingly, younger consumers leaned towards renting, while older respondents leaned towards purchasing. Those who had minors living with them were more likely to buy, and parents without minors were split evenly between renting and buying.
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