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Are Prospective Homebuyers Still Optimistic?

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A survey from Point2Homes says despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Americans are keeping an eye on the markets and those that are actively searching say they will focus on virtual tours. 

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they are keeping an eye on the market and 22% said they restart their search once the virus outbreak is over. 

Also, 19% said they are continuing their search despite fears surrounding COVID-19. 

Despite lingering concerns surrounding the virus, 34% of those surveyed said they are looking to buy a home in the next six months. Twenty-five percent said they want to buy a home over the next year and 8% said over the next five years. 

Additionally, 41% of people surveyed said they have no concerns around homebuying during these uncertain times and 42% said COVID-19 has not changed their approach to homebuying. 

Nearly half of all surveyed said they are focusing their search on virtual tours, with 44% responding as such. 

Forty-four percent of prospective buyers over the age of 55 are more cautious when it comes to homebuying during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac could also lead to higher optimism, as it found the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.50% on Thursday. 

“The Federal Reserve’s swift and significant efforts to stabilize the market were much needed and helped mortgage rates drop for the first time in three weeks,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Similar to other segments of the economy, real estate demand is softening. However, the combination of the Fed’s actions and pending economic stimulus will provide substantial support to the mortgage markets.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from the prior weeks’ 3.65%. Rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.92% from last weeks’ 3.06%. 

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, said the mortgage market is beginning to settle due to recent actions by the Federal Reserve. However, those actions haven’t been enough to lure people back into the housing market. 

“While rates are lower than a year ago, which would normally bring out home buyers, the pause in economic activity and the potential for layoffs and lower income that accompany it appear to be holding some home buyers back,” she said. “In fact, this week 3.28 million individuals filed initial claims for unemployment insurance nationwide, far exceeding the previous 695,000 claim record set in October 1982.”

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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