In a Coronavirus World, 1 in 4 Home Purchases are Done Sight Unseen in April Says NAR

In a Coronavirus World, 1 in 4 Home Purchases are Done Sight Unseen in April Says NAR

Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By WPJ Staff | April 20, 2020 9:00 AM ET

The National Association of Realtors is now reporting that a quarter of Realtors with clients putting contracts on homes this past week in the U.S. had at least one do so without physically seeing the property.

For those clients, the median amount of homes toured - either virtually or in person - before putting a contract on a home was just three. NAR's 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found buyers typically looked at nine homes before placing a contract on a home.

"Expect second quarter home sales activity to slow down with the broad observance of stay-at-home orders, but sales will pick up when the economy reopens as many potential home buyers and sellers indicate they're still in the market or will be in a couple of months" said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Home prices remain stable as deals continue to happen with the growing use of new technology tools. Remarkably, 10% of Realtors report the same level of or even more business activity now than before the economic lockdown."

NAR's latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey - conducted April 12-13, 2020 - asked members about how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets.

Several NAR highlights include:

  • A third of Realtors - 33% - reported no closing delays. For those reporting delays, the top reasons listed included delays in financing, appraisals and home inspections.
  • Residential tenants are facing rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests are being accommodated. Forty-one percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate tenants who cannot pay rent and about a quarter of individual landlords - 24% - said the same.
NAR also today released its 2020 Down Payment Expectations & Hurdles to Home Ownership report, which offers home buyer, consumer, and Realtor perspectives on down payments and family involvement in the home buying process. Several highlights include:

  • Nearly a quarter of Millennials - 24% - received down payment assistance from a parent or relative.
  • A majority of Realtors - 65% - said that in the last five years they've had clients receive down payment assistance from a parent or relative.


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