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After months of drastically declining homes sales amid lockdown, May saw a record-setting rebound

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jul 02, 2020

Mandy Lamay wants to go from renter to buyer, looking to close on her first property during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I started right as the pandemic was hitting,” she said of her home search. “That was kind of my driving factor for buying a house.”

Purchasing a property during a pandemic, however, has proven to be somewhat problematic for buyers like Lamay.

“You have to be viewing the house day one it pops on the market,” she said. “If you’re actually interested, you have to put in an offer immediately.”

This kind of competition has created all kinds of chaos across the country.

“We are seeing this pent-up demand,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors. “We’ve actually seen in every region on a national scale that home sales actually did increase.”

Lautz says after two months of drastic decline during the coronavirus shutdown, pending home sales mounted a record rebound in May.

“The month-over-month increase in pending home sales is the largest that we’ve recorded,” she said.

That’s more than a 44% increase after seeing home sales drop to their lowest levels in nine-and-a-half years.

“Buyers are rethinking their living situations,” Lautz said. “So, the demand is really hot and that’s going to drive up prices.”

Also impacting prices are slow building, low inventory and low interest rates.

Combine those factors with more Americans looking to move from big cities to smaller towns and Lautz believes America’s real estate market will be impacted even more.

“People are reevaluating and saying, ‘I don’t want to live in a dense area, crowded city center, crowded blocks,’” she said. “Elevator living is just not the right thing for people today.”

For Lamay, she’s locked in a 3.125% interest rate and says she may overpay for her first property, if it gives her a peace of mind.

“And then hopefully I’ll have a big new yard for my dog and myself,” she said.