Pandemic Slows Real Estate Market

Clever Real Estate, St. Louis, Mo., found a slowing real estate market as homeowners planning to sell begin to pull homes off the market and potential buyers start holding off due to the pandemic.

Clever surveyed 1,000 homeowners and 1,000 renters on April 28 to assess how people are affected by the coronavirus outbreak and related economic impacts. It found 40 percent of those who lost their jobs are receiving unemployment benefits, but half of them said the benefits are not sufficient to cover their expenses.

In late April, prospective homebuyers were 5.5 times more likely to put a hold on their homebuying plans “for the foreseeable future” than those surveyed in late March.

“Home buyers are struggling to afford their down payment, and renters, on average, are in a worse financial situation than homeowners,” said Clever Real Estate Data Scientist Francesca Ortegren. She noted 52 percent of homeowners called themselves concerned about the value of their home and 33 percent of homeowners are concerned about their ability to pay their mortgage in the coming months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 50 percent of renters said they were living paycheck-to-paycheck before the pandemic, the Clever report said. Well over 60 percent of renters called themselves concerned about being able to pay their rent in the coming months due to COVID-19 fallout. Renters are 1.4 times more likely to have lost a job as a result of COVID-19 than homeowners.

More than half the renters surveyed said they are concerned they will not be able to afford to buy a home in the future due to the pandemic’s economic impact, Clever said.