Consumers currently have the most freedom they’ve ever had in the housing market, according to Coldwell Banker CEO Ryan Gorman, who, in an interview Tuesday on CNBC, characterized a market in which even with tight inventory prospective buyers have a plethora of options.
“Right now, if you’re a consumer looking to buy in this market, you might have the most freedom you’ve ever had to look, perhaps, because your employer has said you can work remotely, or you can come in a little bit less frequently,” Gorman said. “That may allow you to open the span you’re willing to search for.”
“So maybe instead of a half an hour out of your job zone, you’re looking 45 minutes to an hour,” Gorman said. “In terms of increasing affordability that could make a tremendous difference.”
There’s currently a glut of inventory on the market — Gorman used a few seconds of the four-minute appearance to urge potential sellers to list if they’re ready — and that’s leading to a lot of frustrated buyers, despite the historically low-interest rates.
Many buyers have seen a significant life change — specifically the ability to work from home even partially or completely. That’s allowing many consumers to accelerate the timeline for moving. Gorman shared the story of one couple from Brooklyn that moved to Minneapolis with the help of Coldwell Banker agents, taking advantage of the low rates and making a move they had always thought about.
“That [acceleration of life change], coupled with low rates, is really allowing them to search the market more aggressively than they were before and we’re seeing the benefits of that in terms of what’s happening in existing home sales,” Gorman said.
Those buyers that are able to widen their search parameters are the ones who are going to find exactly what they want, despite the perception of low inventory and bidding wars.
“Even in a tight inventory market that could mean that the types of homes you want, you’re able to find much more if you broaden your search territory, maybe homes that have a space you can convert to a home office or a home classroom,” Gorman said.