During the year 2020, most of the homebuyers made video-only purchases due to the sheer enormity of the pandemic plaguing the world. 63% of the homebuyers didn’t see or step foot inside the house in person as per the survey commissioned by Redfin, a real estate brokerage company.
This is the highest percent of share of non-appearing homebuyers since 2015. Redfin surveyed 4,700 residents of the USA and Canada who either bought or sold a home in the last year as well as planning to do so in the next 12 months.
Redfin was founded in 2004 and went public on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2017. Their report of the survey has an analysis of 1900 respondents who bought homes in the 32 major markets. The home buyers opting for remote home buying was only 32% last year and 45% in July of 2020, the last high points on the report. As per this survey, nearly 1 out of 10 potential homebuyers have requested live-video tours with the Redfin agents to help buy their prospective home. This is in comparison to 1% of homebuyers making the same request before the pandemic struck. Also, since February 2020, the 3D video walk-through tours have increased dramatically by 563%.
The main reason for homebuyers taking so much interest in the market right now is the prospect of accomplishing a decent home deal. Fixed mortgage interest rates for 30 years are staying at the minimal levels of less than 3%. Also, the expectation of remote work continuing post-pandemic has changed the approach of homebuyers in terms of purchasing more homes. Hence, Redfin has predicted that around 14.5 million US citizens will relocate next year, which will lead to a 10% rise in sales of homes in the country.
Although the bank lenders and realtors caution the prospective homebuyers from making their decision solely based on 3D video walk-through tours, it’s because these video tours don’t showcase the accurate picture of a house in terms of its structural faults, if any, along with the features like lighting, floor-plan, surroundings, and neighborhood, etc.