"Housing demand has roared back during the coronavirus pandemic due to record-low mortgage rates, but open houses haven't recovered to the same extent because it's still risky to allow groups of strangers into your home," said Redfin chief economist
The West has seen the slowest recovery, with just 4% of homes listed in July holding open houses during their first week on the market, compared with 29% a year earlier. The Midwest clocked in at 9%, compared with 16% in
Florida Redfin agent
"Open houses are back in
One reason sellers in
"Before the pandemic, I was advising sellers against doing open houses because it was a waste of time—we were just getting looky-loos who weren't serious about buying," he said. "But now, demand for showings is through the roof, so open houses can alleviate a lot of stress for sellers. Why do 15 back-to-back showings with individual buyers when you can just host one open house?"
At the same time, the market in
Demand for homes has been rising across the country as a result of record-low mortgage rates and an intensifying housing shortage, both of which are fueling competition. In July, more than half of Redfin offers faced bidding wars for the third month in a row.
In some areas of the country, including parts of
"It's kind of like making an online reservation for a restaurant, except you only get 15 minutes to see the home, and then the next party comes through," she said. "We're seeing lines out to the sidewalk for the really popular listings."
While the rate at which sellers are hosting open houses has begun to recover in some parts of the country, it may never return to pre-pandemic levels nationwide, as many house hunters have grown accustomed to viewing homes and making offers from the comfort of their couch, according to Fairweather. A July Redfin survey found that nearly half (45%) of people who bought a home in the past year made an offer on a property that they hadn't seen in person, the highest share on record.
Redfin has taken numerous precautions to keep homebuyers and sellers safe during the pandemic. In places where open houses are legally allowed, Redfin is using a queue system to allow only one group from the same household into the home at a time. The company is also requiring all attendees to observe social distancing rules and wear masks. In addition, Redfin is offering private video-chat tours led by Redfin agents, as well as live video open houses.
For more information and complete methodology visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/real-estate-open-houses-decline-coronavirus.
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered residential real estate company, redefining real estate in the consumer's favor in a commission-driven industry. We do this by integrating every step of the home buying and selling process and pairing our own agents with our own technology, creating a service that is faster, better and costs less. We offer brokerage, iBuying, mortgage, and title services, and we also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage search site, offering a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate. We represent people buying and selling homes in over 90 markets in
For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the
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