The coronavirus is affecting more than the way Americans live, shop, and spend their spare time. It’s also causing fear in the real estate market. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 1 in 4 home sellers nationwide are changing how their home is viewed while the home remains on the market due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

A new survey from the National Association of Realtors said the changes include stopping open houses, requiring potential buyers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, asking buyers to remove shoes or wear footies, or other changes.

The percentage of sellers adopting these and other changes climbs to 44% and 34%, respectively, in Washington State and California, two of the states hardest hit by a coronavirus, the news release stated.

NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted March 9-10, 2020 – asked members questions about how the coronavirus outbreak, including the significant declines in stock market values and mortgage interest rates, has impacted home buyer and seller interest and behavior. The news release offered Several highlights of the member survey including:

  • 37% said lower mortgage rates excited home buyers much more than the stock market correction.
  • Almost 8 out of 10 (78%) said there has been no change in buyer interest due to the coronavirus.
  • 16% said buyer interest has decreased due to coronavirus, with members in California and Washington State citing larger decreases in buyer interest – 21% and 19%, respectively.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 members (87%) said coronavirus has not affected the number of homes on the market.
  • In Washington State and California, 5% and 4% of members, respectively, reported homes were removed from the market. That figure is 3% for members nationwide.

View NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey full report here:

NAR Announces Changes to Upcoming Conference Schedule

Additionally, the National Association of Realtors announced it will not hold conferences scheduled to take place in California in March. NAR’s Joint AE Institute (March 13-16 in San Diego) and REALTOR® Broker Summit (March 31-April 1 in Los Angeles) will not be held as planned in response to coronavirus concerns, particularly those emerging on the West Coast of the United States.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency earlier in the month after the state’s first death connected to coronavirus. As of Wednesday, March 4, the state reported more than 50 confirmed cases across 12 counties.

NAR is considering alternatives and potential avenues through which to reschedule, relocate or redesign these conferences later in 2020, it said in a news release.

In an effort to help its 1.4 million members respond to the virus’ potential impact on the real estate industry, NAR prepared Realtor®-specific guidance while also offering assistance to state and local Realtor® associations addressing the issue in their own communities

NAR will announce decisions about additional upcoming events as those determinations are made in the coming weeks, it said in the news release.

Source: NAR