Regret? What regret?
The pandemic brought an unexpected result to the housing markets: a rush of buyers looking for more land, more privacy and more lifestyle-based amenities. The ultra-competitive sellers’ market in the United States has driven prices up and made getting an offer accepted a real challenge. For those who were able to snag a house in the last year, however, the homeownership sentiment remains positive, according to new realtor.com® survey results.
Realtor.com® surveyed 1,000 homeowners who purchased a new home during the coronavirus crisis—specifically between March 26 – April 7—according to research from HarrisX. The report showed that 71% of respondents said buying was a good decision and 75% said their new home meets their needs.
“Most of us spent more time at home during the pandemic than ever before. So, it’s no surprise that it changed what many people want from their homes and neighborhoods and created a greater sense of urgency to find a home that satisfied those needs,” said George Ratiu, senior economist, realtor.com®.
He added, “With the number of available homes for sale in short supply, buyers didn’t have many choices over the past year, or a lot of time to consider their options in a very competitive market. However, as our survey shows, pandemic buyers generally feel good about the choices they made, and while the home-buying process itself is stressful, new homeowners feel their new homes meet their needs and do not regret the choices they made.”
Timing Is Everything
Real estate agents have reported a much more time sensitive atmosphere in the present marketplace. However, during the time period in which these consumers completed the home search and purchased, things were a bit more relaxed.
Surveyed buyers said they have no regrets regarding how quickly they made their purchase, and how much they paid. Fewer than one-third of respondents said they would have liked more time during their home search before purchasing. But nearly half (48%) reported not feeling rushed or pressured to make a purchasing decision.
The key here could be motivation. While needs did change due to the pandemic, three-quarters of these new homeowners said they were already planning to purchase a home before COVID hit.
“Buying a home is the biggest financial decision most people make and, while there’s pressure to move more quickly, especially today, it’s not a decision you want to make lightly,” said Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at realtor.com®.
“Nothing in life is perfect, and a new home is no exception, so compromises are always part of the buying process. The best place to start is with a budget, and from there you can prioritize what’s important to you. Is it square footage, number of bedrooms, outdoor space or location? Once you have an idea of what’s most important, you’re ready to make confident decisions,” added Holbert.
Happy in the Home
The overall sentiment? Happiness. According to the report, more than half of respondents (55%) said their home is exactly what they need for “working or schooling from home.”
Referencing their home, neighborhood and area, more than 70% of new homeowners said they are feeling “happy.” In fact, close to half (45%) are so satisfied with their purchase that they wish they had made the move sooner. While only 19% said they should have waited.
What About Today’s Market?
Now that more than half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated and buyers continue to flood the markets, will the homeownership sentiment remain the same? It remains to be seen if some pandemic-inspired trends, such as remote work, are here to stay, and if the amenities prioritized during the crisis will maintain high demand.
Several factors will need to be considered: rising home prices, interest rates, home loans, incentives such as down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs that help lessen the impact of a full-speed market, etc.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.