Brandi Pearl Thompson: National Homebuying And Selling Before And After COVID-19

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - by Brandi Pearl Thompson, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors

Last week the National Association of Realtors released one of the most anticipated studies in recent memory, the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This report is a yearly survey of recent home buyers and sellers who purchased in the last year, from July 2019 to June 2020. This report really allows those of us in the industry a very detailed look buying and selling behavior.

While every year is a unique snapshot where buyers and sellers purchase amid a changing economic environment, 2020 is especially distinctive as COVID-19 impacted Americans’ lives starting in March 2020. We are all hopeful for a vaccine to help regain some sort of normalcy in our lives, it remains apparent that this virus will be with us and influencing different aspects of our life for quite some time. With this information in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting national homebuying and selling trends:

Characteristics of Home Buyers. First-time buyers made up 31 percent of all home buyers, which is a slight dip from last year’s 33 percent. The typical buyer was 47 years old this year, and the median household income for 2019 rose again this year to $96,500. Twelve percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost-saving. Eighteen percent of recent home buyers were veterans, and 2 percent were active-duty service members.

Home Buyers Before and During COVID-19. Buyers who purchased after March were more likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 15 percent, compared to 11 percent who purchased before April. Buyers who purchased after March have a shorter expected tenure in the home they purchased – only 10 years compared to those who purchased before the pandemic and expect to own their home for 15 years. Fifty-seven percent of buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased in a suburban location, compared with 50 percent of pre-pandemic buyers. Buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased a home that typically was $339,400 compared to pre-pandemic buyers who purchased a home that was $270,000. Twenty-three percent of buyers who purchased after March purchased a home that was $500,000 or more.

Home Sellers Before and During COVID-19. The top reason for sellers before April to sell their home was because they wanted to be closer to friends and family. Home sellers who sold their home after March were more likely to report the main reason for selling was because their home was too small. Home sellers who sold after March were more likely to say they were somewhat urgent in their need to sell their home – 46 percent compared to 39 percent of those who sold before April. Sellers who sold after March were more likely to use technology as a marketing tool. The biggest difference seen is among those using virtual tours. Twenty-seven percent used virtual tours after March compared to 16 percent of those pre-April. Home sellers who sold after March sold their home for $300,000, while those who sold before April sold it for $270,000.

There’s one last piece of data I wanted to highlight. Eighty-nine percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home, and for recently sold homes, the ?nal sales price was a median of 99 percent of the ?nal listing price. What does this mean? It means that working with a realtor will help make sure you’re getting the most from your real estate transaction. As realtors, we have the latest tools and technology to serve our clients and community. That’s Who We R.


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Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland’s first ever Law Build Day is an exclusive event with 10 legal leaders in the Cleveland community coming together to sponsor and help build a home. On Saturday, ... (click for more)

NOTICE: The Hamilton County Register’s Office did not publish this data. All information in the Register’s Office is public information as set out in T.C.A. 10-7-503. For questions regarding ... (click for more)



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