COVID-19 Crisis Has Shifted How Millennials Shop For Homes

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New data shows millennials are speeding up their home purchases and are willing to adjust the way they virtually search for and buy a home.

According to a recent realtor.com and HarrisX survey of 2,000 home shoppers who plan on purchasing a home within the next year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made nearly half of millennial home shoppers speed up their home buying timeline.

The survey data shows that the largest generation in U.S. history is prepared for a competitive market – and they aren’t above receiving financial assistance from family or friends to make their home buying dreams a reality.

“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows. With little to no equity to leverage, millennial home buyers tend to take out larger loans. Historically low rates are making this more manageable, even with rising home prices,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “Additionally, shelter-in-place orders helped many who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs save for a down payment — one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”

Of survey respondents, 75% of millennials have been working remotely since the COVID pandemic hit. Of those respondents, 63% said they plan on purchasing a home because of their ability to work remotely.

Nearly half of millennial respondents – 49% – report that COVID has pushed them to buy a home sooner than their original timeline.

Fifty-nine percent of millennials report that COVID has changed the way they are approaching their home search. Of those respondents, 37% are spending more time researching properties online; 35% are spending more time looking at listings photos; 32% are spending more time watching listing videos; 31% are being more selective about the homes they decide to tour; and 27% are driving by the home to check out the neighborhood.

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