With home prices at an all-time high and bidding wars more common, it begs the question: are buyers happy even if they spent well over asking price? Or do they fear they bought too high or took the risk of greater future expenses?
Stories of regret could emerge, but not this time. According to a recent Realtor.com® survey, most who closed on a home during the pandemic don’t feel buyer’s remorse.
In fact, nearly 75% of those who bought homes during the COVID-19 shutdown are happy with their purchase.
About 1,000 people who purchased homes within the past 12 months participated in the survey, which was conducted by Realtor.com between March 26 and April 7. Nearly 71% of those surveyed say buying was a good decision and 75% say their new home is a good fit for their families.
The only thing they would have changed is that many homebuyers said they wish they had moved sooner while more homes were for sale and fewer buyers were competing.
“Given the challenges of the year, it is surprising how many recent homeowners are happy with their purchase,” says Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu. “We’ve had a very competitive housing market this year, characterized by very few homes for sale, steeply rising prices, and bidding wars. So it’s good to hear that the majority of buyers feel good about their decision to buy a home this year.”
The dynamics of the pandemic coupled with record-low mortgage rates are well documented: more buyers entered the market to get more living space and had the freedom to move farther from their workplace. Meanwhile, sellers were scarce, deciding instead to stay safely in their current home. The result was unprecedented nationwide and in Boulder County – demand surged during a period of the lowest inventory in recent history, according to the recent RE/MAX of Boulder Real Estate Report.
Yet 55% of successful home buyers nationwide found a home they wanted to buy. About three-quarters planned to buy even before the pandemic hit while 25% bought in response to COVID-19. And nearly half – 48% – say they didn’t feel rushed or pressured into a sale.
On the flip side, less than 20% wish they had waited to buy and less than a third would have spent more time looking.
“For quite a few people, they really had to stretch their budgets,” says Ratiu.
Meanwhile, Millennials feel they are in the trending cross-hairs once again. Fewer homes are available overall – especially in the “starter home” category which is defined by Freddie Mac as under 1,400 square feet. The smaller homes sell for less and allow younger homeowners to build wealth. Starter homes are at a five-decade low, reports realtor.com.
But for those who can successfully buy a home in these high-stakes times, for the most part, it feels good.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.