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Bright MLS—a multiple listing service (MLS) in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. representing 95,000 real estate professionals in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia—released the results of its National Homeownership Month Survey that details trends and shifts the real estate industry has experienced as a result of COVID-19. June is recognized as National Homeownership Month to celebrate the benefits that homeownership brings to families, neighborhoods and communities across America.

The survey revealed four key takeaways:

1. There is a general desire for more space. When asked which home features buyers are most interested in when looking for a home, respondents said there has been an increased desire for more space since the pandemic began. These features include a dedicated home office (31 percent), bigger yard (26 percent) and a less dense neighborhood (21 percent.

Additionally, seven in 10 respondents confirmed buyers are interested in purchasing single-family homes. Respondents also reported seeing declines in condo interest since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

2. Reliance on virtual technology has increased significantly. More than half of respondents said their clients are more willing to explore new technologies when buying a home— almost one in four said clients would be comfortable entering a contract on a home without stepping foot in it, suggesting a new comfort level with virtual technology.

3. The real estate toolkit of the future will utilize new technologies, enabling remote home-buying and selling.
More than half of all surveyed real estate professionals said their skills have grown since the start of the pandemic. Seven in 10 found virtual tours to be valuable, with two-thirds stating they will continue using virtual tours even after the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents stated they will continue to use the following tools promoted through the Bright Steps COVID-19 Response Initiative:

– Online document signing service (95 percent)
– Web listings (78 percent)
– Virtual tours (64 percent)
– Video conference calls (62 percent)
– Bright MLS weekly data reports (52 percent)
– Virtual showings (52 percent)

4. The interruption in the traditionally busy spring buying season could result in extremely active summer and fall markets. Seventy-seven percent of real estate professionals said their clients are waiting to list their homes until the COVID-19-related restrictions have been lifted.

As a result, Bright MLS expects a strong market recovery. Where the spring market is traditionally the strongest season, in 2020 we can expect the late summer/fall housing market to flourish, according to Bright MLS.

“COVID-19 has had a strong influence on Mid-Atlantic consumer attitudes, as well as on the real estate market itself,” said Brian Donnellan, president and CEO of Bright MLS. “Real estate professionals’ playbook has evolved quickly and the manner with which they conduct their business has changed a great deal in a short period of time. Bright MLS will continue to support our subscribers and their consumer clients so they can continue to find success in this dynamic marketplace.”

Source: Bright MLS