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Pandemic Changing Homebuyers’ Priorities

According to a recent Redfin report, homebuyers’ priorities are shifting due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, more homebuyers are looking to move away from the cramped and more expensive big cities to the far more affordable suburbs.

The Redfin report showed that the housing markets where homebuyers can get more, while paying less, are mostly found tucked just outside the nation’s biggest cities. This getting “more bang for their buck” mentality is what has driven city dwellers out of their crowded, expensive meccas, as well as the recently adapted remote working phenomenon allowing for more mobility and flexibility for geographical locale. Also driving this exodus and rise in homebuyer demand are the current record-low interest rates being seen on the market today.

Redfin compiled this data via its representatives, then ranked housing markets that have heated up and cooled down the most during this year thus far. Criteria for arriving at the specific rankings included year-over-year change in home prices, home sales, the share of homes that sold above their list price, the speed of home sales and Redfin.com online searches.

According to the report, number one of the list of locales where U.S. housing markets are cooling off the most is the Bronx. Keeping the Bronx company and accounting for an overwhelming 7 out of the “worst” markets where housing demand is cooling off are 7 other New York markets, including Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island to name a few.

Specific statistics from the report showed that the Bronx’s home sales have take a 43% dive since last year, and the amount of online searches among Redfin.com users within the Bronx area fell a whopping 16% during the second quarter.

New York Redfin agent Ken Wile commented on this trend, not mincing words about the mass exodus from the Big Apple: ”People want out of New York City. This pandemic has changed everybody's lives. People who had to commute to the city no longer have to, so they want more space, more value and more nature."

According to Wile, among those exiting the City, many are moving to nearby Westchester and Putnam counties.

Also cooling down and losing residents is San Francisco County, which ranked number two. This has led to a huge influx of new home listings (a rise of 110% year over year in July to be exact). In fact, San Francisco’s housing supply has skyrocketed, increasing far more than any other major metro since the pandemic first hit the scene earlier this year.

San Francisco Redfin agent Gabrielle Bunker explained how this has forced sellers to compromise when it comes to accepting lower bids: "I've been telling sellers that if they're not willing to compromise on price after a couple of weeks, they'll probably be holding onto their home for two to four more years. A lot of sellers are having a hard time coming to terms with that—they're really, really wishing that the market was the way that it was six to nine months ago.

About Author: Andy Beth Miller

Andy Beth Miller is a well-established freelance editor and writer with almost 20 years’ experience working within the media industry, contributing to various publications such as Lonely Planet, Zicasso, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Midweek Magazine, Kauai Traveler Magazine, HILuxury, and many more. She also currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of ProcuRising Magazine, which enables procurement professionals to increase their knowledge base within a creative and collaborative community.
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