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The COVID-19 pandemic had a great influence on Pennsylvania homebuyers in 2020, according to a recent Welcome Home survey, conducted for the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR).

Thirteen percent of homebuyers surveyed said that aspects of the pandemic and restrictions due to the pandemic were the biggest source of stress during their home-buying process in the fourth quarter report.

Other homebuyers—16 percent—said that the biggest source of stress came from needing to sell their previous home around the same time that they were buying their current home.

A new, specific question asked about how the pandemic affected their homebuyer experience showed a range of answers. Their comments varied from viewing homes remotely, restrictions on viewing homes in person, delays in closings, inability to show their previous home and fewer homes on the market.

“Many of the buyers noted a greater urgency in buying a home because of the limited housing inventory,” said PAR President William Festa. “We’ve continued to see tight inventory situations over the past few years across Pennsylvania, which has compelled buyers to make offers more quickly and prepare to close sooner than in the past. It appears that the disruption of real estate sales earlier this year has intensified this problem even more so.”

The survey also showed more buyers reported taking longer to find, buy and move into their new homes. Forty-three percent of buyers reported being able to get into their new homes in less than three months, compared to nearly 50 percent in previous surveys.

“The shutdown forced many sellers to delay putting their homes on the market, extending the time buyers spent looking for homes because of the reduced inventory,” Festa noted.

Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®