Homebuyers’ Interest Remains Strong Despite Coronavirus

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The majority of members of the National Association of Realtors said buyers’ interest remained sturdy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey by the trade organization released Thursday.

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) residential realtors surveyed said coronavirus has not affected the number of homes on the market. And 78% of respondents say that there has been no change in buyer interest due to the coronavirus.

The result is based on a poll of 70,036 residential members of The National Association of Realtors (NAR) from March 9-10.

“Buyers’ interest remained strong, even in states including Washington State and California, which were hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the NAR.

About 5% and 4% of members in Washington and California, respectively, reported listings were removed from the market, compared to the national average of 3%.

As of Thursday, the U.S. has 1,215 confirmed coronavirus cases, spreading across 42 states and the District of Columbia. Washington State (366), California (175) and New York (217) have the highest numbers of confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey did not provide data for the New York market.

In terms of buyers, 21% of Washington realtors and 19% of those in California said buyer interest has decreased due to coronavirus. The nationwide figure was 16%.

More: Coronavirus Looms Over Crucial Spring Season for Housing Market

However, the two states did fare worse than the national average, according to the survey.

The survey also gauged the possible impact of mortgage rate and stock market correction on buyers’ interest. Half of members said there was no notable change in client behavior, and more than one-third of members cited clients are excited by the lower mortgage rates more than they are concerned over the stock market correction.

Published by Mansion Global

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