The housing market has seen its ups and downs as a result of COVID-19, and now, summer homebuying season is in full force.
The National Association of Realtors released its Market Recovery Survey on Thursday, revealing that 45% of its members had reported that their market has slowly entered recovery mode.
Still, as states reopen, many Realtors are hesitant due to fears of a second wave of COVID-19, NAR said.
Only 39% of members reported being somewhat prepared for a second wave of COVID-19, and just 19% said they expect to be very prepared.
The housing market is rebounding in some regions – 28% of those surveyed said their market is coming back hotter than normal, 19% said their respective market is back to normal and 9% don’t feel like they have entered recovery yet.
Trends show that more apartment dwellers want to move to rural areas with bigger space. In fact, 28% who live in a small town or rural area reported that their market is actually hotter than normal.
And it’s not just apartment dwellers. Since stay-at-home orders went into effect and more workers are telecommuting, an increased number of people in general are fleeing the big cities to more rural areas and larger spaces in a home.
The report also showed that some renters have been disregarded in terms of government assistance and rent payments.
As such, 16% of property managers reported tenants had terminated their lease, compared to 6% among individual landlords.
However, property managers with residential tenants said that 42% of property managers had no issues with their tenants paying rent, compared to 63% of individual landlords, NAR said.
Despite no assistance, 40% of property managers reported being able to accommodate their tenants who cannot pay rent, but 27% reported it being difficult to do so.
Locations have been shifted by 24% of homeowners because they intend to buy a home as a result of the pandemic. Specifically, 47% of NAR members said their clients wanted to purchase in the suburbs, 39% planned to go rural and 25% said they were looking to move to a smaller town.
Meanwhile, 22% said they are less concerned about their commute. This is not surprising considering more companies are working remotely since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, 49% of those in urban areas told NAR that their market is slowly entering recovery, compared to 40% in a small town or rural area.
On the other hand, 92% of respondents indicated that some of their buyers had returned to the market or just never left and 8% said that no buyers returned to the market.
For some buyers, the pandemic has left their timelines the same – 54% in fact. 27% of buyers felt more urgency to buy a home, while 18% reported less urgency.
In terms of agent and client communication, teleconferencing and virtual home tours have been utilized now more than ever.
Agents reported they expect the use of video technology to communicate with clients will increase 67%, while 24% expect the usage to remain the same and 8% expect a decrease.
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