Reaction to the novel coronavirus depends on people’s personal experiences with the pandemic and the financial fallout. Recent studies show during the second quarter of 2020, people began searching for homes outside their regions at higher levels than during the first quarter of the year, and more prospective buyers searched for suburban properties.
During the second quarter of 2020, 51 percent of searches from urban residents in the 100 largest urban metro areas were for suburban properties within the metro area, according to Realtor.com. That percentage represents the highest level since Realtor.com started tracking metro level search data in 2017.
The quarterly Cross-Market Demand Report by Realtor.com found people are more likely than in the past to look for a home outside their metro area, especially if they live in the Northeast. In those cases, the searches were more often in a smaller nearby market to find a home with more space or to be closer to the mountains or the beach in their region. For example, New York residents were looking at counties farther from the city such as Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York and Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey.
A recent analysis of data by Redfin found 27.4 percent of the real estate brokerage firm’s users during the second quarter of 2020 were looking to move to a different metro area, up from 25.2 percent during the second quarter of 2019 and up from 26 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Among Redfin users in the Washington area, 12.8 percent were looking for homes outside the region, up from 11.3 percent during the second quarter of 2019. The top destination for those searchers was Salisbury, Md.
Redfin’s analysis found the top 10 metro areas with the highest percentage of people looking to move out of the region during the second quarter of 2020 were New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Boston, Milwaukee and Rockford, Ill.
The top 10 metro areas with the highest percentage of people looking to move into the region during the second quarter of 2020 were Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Miami, Nashville and Charlotte.
The number of international buyers in the United States declined between April 2019 and March 2020 by 5 percent compared with the previous 12-month period, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2020 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate.
A lack of inventory of homes, declining international trade, less cross-border travel and fewer international students are all reasons cited for the drop in foreign purchases of U.S. homes. The impact of the pandemic could further reduce foreign investment in U.S. real estate, but that remains to be seen.