Nearly half of Realtors reported a decrease in homebuyer interest as a result of coronavirus, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) flash survey conducted March 16-17, 2020. Just one week ago, that number was 16 percent.
The survey was sent to a random sample of 72,734 NAR members, 96 percent of which were residential Realtors, and 2 percent of which were commercial Realtors. Data results were gathered from 3,059 usable responses.
NAR’s survey showed that a solid 69 percent of Realtors reported no change in the number of homes on the market due to coronavirus, although that number also declined from 87 percent one week ago.
“The decline in confidence related to the direction of the economy coupled with the unprecedented measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, including major social distancing efforts nationwide, are naturally bringing an abundance of caution among buyers and sellers,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a statement.
Survey results also found that 45 percent of respondents said the stock market correction and lower mortgage rates worked to equalize one another, with no significant change in buyer behavior as a result of those factors.
Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about making adjustments to home showings and open houses to take extra precautions against the spread of coronavirus. In NAR’s survey one week ago, almost eight in 10 Realtors said sellers had not changed how their home is viewed. However, in NAR’s most recent survey, only four in 10 Realtors said sellers felt that way.
Among commercial members, 54 percent reported a decrease in leasing clients, compared to 18 percent who noted this in NAR’s previous survey one week ago.
Commercial buildings have witnessed a significant change in operations, with 83 percent of buildings altering their practices in different ways like offering more hand sanitizer, conducting more building cleanings and moving more tenants to working remotely.
“With fewer listings in what’s already a housing shortage environment, home prices are likely to hold steady,” Yun said. “The temporary softening of the real estate market will likely be followed by a strong rebound once the economic ‘quarantine’ is lifted, and it’s critical that supply is sufficient to meet pent-up demand.”