Press Room

COVID-19 Impacts Homebuyer Preferences But Not Budgets: Homes.com Survey

Over 40% Seek Different Features, 80% Have Same or Increased Price Range

 

Norfolk, VA (July 29, 2020) – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of the features desired by U.S. homebuyers and increased the dependence on virtual tours; however, it has had little impact on homebuying budgets, according to a Homes.com survey of over 1,000 consumers who have purchased a home during the coronavirus outbreak or plan to purchase before the end of the year.

Fully 80% of survey respondents reported that their homebuying budgets had either remained the same or increased since the start of the pandemic, indicating that consumers remain committed to investing in homeownership despite possible anxiety over the challenging economic conditions caused by the pandemic.

Overall, 35- to 44-year-olds were the most likely to report a decrease in their budgets, but the impact varied by geography. Most of the respondents who did lower their price targets in the Western states were Generation Z (18-24) buyers, while those in the Northeast were in the Millennial and Generation X age range (24-44).

The survey also found that:

  • Over 40% of respondents have changed the features they want in a home because of COVID-19, including adding a home office (30%), larger square footage (27%), enclosed backyard (27%) and/or closed floor plan (15%) to their wish list. These shifts may reflect the realities of today’s work-from-home and e-learning needs.
  • Over half of respondents planning to purchase a home before the end of the year have used virtual tours in their search, with roughly one-third having viewed 1-3 homes and one-fourth viewing 11+ homes through virtual tools. One-third of those who have purchased in the last four months utilized these live video tours or virtual open houses.
  • More people indicated they were moving because they wanted a less populated area (16%) than moving for a job (14%), retirement (11%), or wanting a better school system for their children (8%). The most common reason for moving was the need to upsize for a growing family (25%).
  • 37% of respondents have purchased in the last four months and 44% plan to purchase before the end of the year, demonstrating that homeownership remains a strong imperative even during the pandemic.
  • 33% of those who have purchased or plan to purchase a home are aged 18-34, supporting earlier Homes.com surveys indicating that Gen Z is highly committed to early homeownership.
  • Overall, the largest number of buyers or potential buyers (40%) are located in the South, with the rest split between the Midwest (25%), West (22%) and Northeast (13%).
  • 51% are looking for existing single-family detached homes, followed by new construction single-family detached (20%), condominium (14%) and townhouse (11%).

“The pandemic has changed what ‘home’ means for many families and how they search for them,” said Homes.com president David Mele. “Even in the midst of those changes, our survey confirms that consumer commitment to homeownership remains the same.”

More information about the Homes.com 2020 Consumer Homebuyer survey can be found at https://go.homes/COVID19Buyers.

About Homes.com

Homes.com offers today’s demanding homebuyers, renters, and those somewhere in between a simply smarter home search with a more personalized and conversational way to find their next home. Since its launch over 25 years ago, Homes.com offers real estate professionals brand and property advertising, search engine marketing, and instant response lead generation to help them succeed online. For more information, visit Homes.com.