COVID-19 Boosts Expensive Home Demand

The pandemic has ignited demand for expensive homes, which offer more square footage and features such as outdoor space, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Nearly one in four home buyers between April and June bought houses priced at $500,000 or more, up from 14% of buyers during the preceding nine months, according to a Wednesday report from the National Association of Realtors.

“Home buyers during the coronavirus pandemic had a median household income of $110,800, compared with $94,400 for pre-pandemic buyers, the survey showed.

“‘The buyers who purchase during Covid[-19] want a larger home,’ said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. ‘There’s certainly more homes being purchased that are expensive.’

“The pandemic has caused the economy to sputter and businesses to close, a condition usually associated with slower home sales and lower home prices. But white collar professionals have largely avoided the worst of the downturn. Many of those who can work remotely are seeking a bigger house with more outdoor space or are buying vacation homes.

“The surging demand that is pushing up home prices is also making homeownership harder to attain for lower-wage workers and for some younger buyers. First-time buyers made up 31% of all primary-home buyers in the year ended in June, down from 33% the year before and the historical norm of 40%, NAR said.”

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