Perhaps the most unexpected effect of Covid-19 is the real estate boom. With demand for mortgages up 25% and rates at astonishing lows, it’s no surprise that housing markets across the country feel more competitive than ever. In fact, an average of 42% of home listings nationwide have gone off market in two weeks or less. But where are the most competitive real estate markets in America? We analyzed data from more than 50 of the largest metro areas in the U.S. to find out.
With almost three-quarters of homes selling in under two weeks, Seattle has the most competitive market in the country. Following closely behind is Omaha, where 67% of homes sell in two weeks. Lexington, Denver, and Indianapolis round out the top five, with 65% or more of homes selling in the same time frame.
The competition is palpable. When we surveyed buyers across the country, a majority (77%) said they believe competition has increased since Covid-19 – and 3 in 4 have even had a home go off-market before they even got to look at it.
Despite the competition, just 1 in 3 believe the current market is a seller’s market. When asked why, a majority pointed to the speed at which homes are selling (57%), followed by having to place multiple bids (48%) and not being able to undercut the listing price (32%).
Regardless of what type of market we’re in, the way we find and buy homes has changed in the time of Covid-19. Compared to our May study, more buyers are finding homes online. That virtual experience is dominating the open house experience as well: just two in five opted to see homes in person. Of those who did, however, an overwhelming majority felt safe (93%).
Despite the change in competition and ways in which buyers find homes, what they’re looking for has stayed largely the same. In our May study, the most important things in a home were price, location, and neighborhood; today, they’re location, price, and size of the home.
Methodology: Between October 26 and October 28, 2020, we surveyed 1,019 homebuyers about their experience looking for a home during Covid-19. Respondents were an average of 38 years old; 52% were male, 48% were female; 74% were married, 21% were single, 3% were engaged, and 2% were divorced or widowed.
To determine the most competitive real estate markets in the country, we averaged several months’ worth of Covid-19 weekly housing market data, provided by Redfin.
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