The global pandemic has reshaped almost every aspect of life. It left no stone unturned and definitely had an impact on the housing market. As the world grappled with the pandemic, homebuyers’ priorities took a turn. In this article, we will explore the impact the pandemic had on the real estate market, and the key aspects that have reshaped the way we approach buying and selling.
Shift in Homebuyer Priorities
As the world adjusted to this global phenomenon, homebuyers started to rethink what really mattered when it came to picking a house. Remote work was here to stay and a quieter lifestyle became really intriguing. In fact, if there is one word that defined that pandemic era, it’s ‘remote work.’ With remote work becoming the new normal, a home office space that could comfortably accommodate remote work became sought out by homebuyers. In the pre-pandemic era, urban living had it’s undeniable charm, but as the lockdown persisted, rural areas grew more desirable and homebuyers sought more spacious backyards and patios to entertain and social distance. These open-air escapes became a haven for relaxation and recreation, emphasizing the importance of blending indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Virtual Real Estate
In a world striving for safety and convenience, virtual tours surged in popularity. While virtual tours were already standard in the pre-pandemic era, more importance began to be placed on the use of this tool since social distancing recommendations were being taken seriously. This kept homebuyers safe, limiting contact with others, during the search for a house. To reduce this contact even further, paperless transactions rose in popularity, making transactions faster, smoother, safer, and more environmentally friendly. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, remote work quickly became the new norm. The world
took a digital turn with video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, becoming the new meeting rooms. Buyers, sellers, and real estate agents could maintain limited contact and convene online to discuss properties and address concerns. This technology-driven approach has transcended geographical limitations and accelerated the decision-making process.
Market Fluctuations & Pricing
The pandemic set offa domino effect on housing prices. With increased demand for spacious homes, prices climbed to new heights. It’s a seller’s market, with properties often receiving multiple offers, leading to bidding wars and driving prices up. At the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020) the average price for a home was $280,700. Now, house prices are an average of $406,700 as of July 2023. House flipping and real estate investment also increased drastically and as remote work grew, so did the demand for housing in previously overlooked areas. This sudden surge led to housing shortages in certain areas, driving the price up even more. The ability to keep up with the demand became an inventory struggle as prices of construction materials increased and inflation rose.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left an enduring mark on the housing market. Homebuyer priorities have shifted toward suburban and rural living, home offices, and outdoor spaces. Virtual real estate tools have revolutionized the buying process, making it safer and more efficient. Meanwhile, market fluctuations and pricing challenges have added complexity to the real estate landscape. As we navigate this new era, adapting to these changes is crucial for both buyers and sellers in the ever-evolving world of real estate.