Realtor Survey: Home Buyer Interest Dropping In Pandemic

People have begun isolating themselves across the country – and that means fewer are out and about looking to buy a house.

A survey released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors found that 48 percent of realtors said home buyer interest has decreased due to the coronavirus. That’s triple the number from a week ago, when it was 16 percent.

“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,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. 

The survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday of this week, also found:

  • 69 percent of realtors said there is no change in the number of homes on the market due to the coronavirus outbreak, down from 87 percent a week ago.
  • 45 percent said the stock market correction and lower mortgage rates roughly balanced out, noting no significant change in buyer behavior.
  • 61 percent said there was no change in sellers removing homes from the market, down from 81 percent a week ago.

And, in perhaps the most telling example of the impact the coronavirus is having, 40 percent said home sellers have not changed how they show their house while it is on the market. A week ago, it was 77 percent.

“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.”