MReport December 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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50 | M REPORT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Evolving Trends NAR examines sellers, home buyers, and the housing market. T he characteristics and trends of sellers, buyers, and the houses they sell and buy have evolved this year, according to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The survey includes responses from 8,200 buyers and sellers across the country who bought or sold a home between July 2019 and June of 2020. The survey found that 57% of buyers who purchased a home during the pandemic (from March 2020 onward) purchased in suburban areas, whereas 50% of pre-pan - demic buyers purchased suburban dwellings. This reflects how COVID-19 has driven many buyers to search for homes outside of the city. With more Americans working remotely due to COVID-19, there is less need to live in urban areas, and the suburbs have grown in popularity. The survey also found that buyers who purchased homes during the pandemic bought them at steeper prices than pre-pan - demic buyers. Homes sold during the pandemic typically went for about $339,400, a substantial uptick from the typical pre- pandemic home, which sold for $270,000. Data also shows that 23% of buyers who acquired a home after March purchased a home that cost $500,000 or more. "Some of this is normal; it happens every year,"'s Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a recent analysis of the survey. "We do know that spring and summer buyers tend to be families who purchase larger, more expensive homes." "But some of it could be driven by the pandemic," Hale added. It is undeniable that home prices have surged during the pandemic as the housing inven - tory faces a shortage. Although many people have recently been less inclined to sell their homes, those who cited similar reasons for putting their homes on the market. According to the survey, 15% of sellers who responded to the survey cited the desire to move closer to friends and family as the reason why they decided to sell. This was the most common reason sellers reportedly made this decision. Sellers also had minimal dif - ficulty selling their homes at the asking price this year. The final sales price for homes was a median of 99% of the final listing price, which makes sense con - sidering how heated the housing market has been. The competition meant that those who chose to sell their homes after March sold their home for about $300,000, compared with those who sold their house before April sold them for about $270,000. As for shifting trends for hous - es sold this year, the survey found that the typical home purchased was "1,900 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1993." Jessica Lautz, NAR's VP of research, told that larger homes became more popu - lar this year for a good reason. "People are seeking more space either to home school or work remotely or have more personal space, Lautz said. Buyers and sellers' needs have changed this year, as more fami - lies are staying home for work and school. There is no telling how long COVID-19's impact on housing market trends will last.

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