Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 20, 2020

Buying, selling changed with COVID-19

The National Association of Realtors released last week the results of one of its most anticipated studies in recent memory – the “2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”

This annual report is a survey of buyers and sellers who purchased homes during the previous year. (The 2020 report covers July 2019-June 2020). It gives those of us in the industry a very detailed look at buying and selling behavior.

While every year offers a unique snapshot of where buyers and sellers purchase amid a changing economic environment, 2020 is especially distinctive as COVID-19 began impacting American lives in March.

We’re all hopeful for a vaccine to help us regain some sort of normalcy, but it remains apparent that this virus will be with us and influencing different aspects of our lives for quite some time. With this information in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting national homebuying and selling trends.

Characteristics of homebuyers

First-time buyers comprised 31% of all homebuyers, a slight dip from last year’s 33%.

The typical buyer was 47 years old, and the median household income rose again, this time to $96,500.

Twelve percent of homebuyers purchased a multigenerational home – some to take care of aging parents, others because of children over the age of 18 moving back home and still others to save money.

Eighteen percent of recent homebuyers were veterans, while 2% were active-duty service members.

COVID-19 and buyers

Fifteen percent of buyers who purchased after March were more likely to purchase a multigenerational home, 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.

Fifty-seven percent of buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased in a suburban location, compared to 50% of pre-pandemic buyers.

The average home purchase price during the pandemic was $339,400, compared to the average pre-pandemic purchase price of $270,000. Twenty-three percent of buyers who purchased after March purchased a home that was $500,000 or more.

COVID-19 and sellers

The top reason for homeowners before April to sell their residence was because they wanted to be closer to friends and family. Sellers who sold their home after March were more likely to report the main reason for selling it was because it was too small.

Home sellers who sold after March were more likely to say they felt a somewhat urgent 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 is seen among those using virtual tours. Twenty-seven percent 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 for $270,000.

I want to highlight one last piece of data: 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? That working with a Realtor will help to 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.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,400 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.