An increase in those availing themselves of the COVID-19 vaccine is likely to add more buyers and sellers to an already red hot real-estate market.
A new survey from Zillow finds 70 percent of homeowners say they would be comfortable moving to a new home after widespread vaccine distribution, a meaningful bump from the 52 percent who currently feel that way.
That amounts to homeowners in more than 14 million homes feeling newly comfortable moving after widespread vaccination.
Among homeowners who said the vaccine would impact their decision to sell, nearly four in five (78 percent) said they expect it will make them more likely to move.
This research follows Zillow’s prediction of 7 million home sales this year, nearly 25 percent more than in 2020, as more sellers regain the confidence to return to the market at a time of incredible demand.
Last fall, Zillow research found financial anxiety and ongoing uncertainty was keeping some would-be sellers on the sidelines, depressing inventory. Now, survey results find measures of both life and financial uncertainty have decreased, albeit slightly: 25 percent of homeowners reported their life or financial situation was too uncertain this January, compared to 29 percent who said the same in November.
“We expect that the vaccine rollout will likely boost inventory, as sellers become increasingly willing to move – resulting in greater numbers of new listings beginning this spring,” said Chris Glynn, principal economist at Zillow. “That injection of inventory could give buyers more options and breathing room in a competitive market.”
The vaccine, however, also will likely add to already-strong demand, given that most sellers will become buyers as they trade in for a home that better suits their new needs, Glynn said.
Demand is being driven by both demographic and pandemic-led factors:
• Millennials – often considered the largest generational group in the country – are aging into their peak home-buying years. The generation fueling the Zillow surfing trend is now hitting their mid-30s, the median age of a first-time home buyer.
• The pandemic also has prompted people to rethink how and where they want to live. The freedom to telework has opened up new, affordable housing options all over the country.