Photo: Harshil Shah/Flickr
A growing numbers of homebuyers are making offers on homes they’ve never seen in person and Millennials are especially prone to purchasing sight-unseen.
That’s according to the results of a new survey conducted by the listing site Redfin that found some 33 percent of all respondents said they had successfully made an offer on a home they did not see in person first. This was up 19 percent from last year, and 21 percent from two years ago.
When just looking at Millennial homebuyers, that number jumps to over 40 percent. Meanwhile only 12 percent of Baby Boomers and 30 percent of Gen Xers reported that they had bought a home sight-unseen, says Redfin.
“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” says Nela Richardson, Redfin’s Chief Economist.
While advancements in tech, like interactive 3D and VR, have certainly played a part in making homebuyers feel more comfortable in buying sight-unseen, Redfin says the competitiveness of the market is the more likely cause of this uptick.
The average home went under contract in 37 days in May, a full week faster than last year — the fastest pace on record since Redfin began tracking the data.
Meanwhile, the Redfin survey also looked at how political ideology influences where many homebuyers choose to purchase. Some 41 percent of respondents said they would be “hesitant” to move into a neighborhood where most of the residents did not share their political beliefs, compared to just 9 percent that said they would be “enthusiastic” about doing so.
Millennials were 46 percent less likely to move into an area where neighbors did not share their political views.
“Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into Millennials’ decisions about where to live,” says Richardson.
A little under half of all Arab, Latino, and Asian homebuyers reported that their plans were altered by the immigration and visa executive orders coming out of the White House, but only 6 percent said their homebuying plans were on hold “indefinitely.”
Affordability was a unifying concern among all respondents. The lack of affordable housing was the most pressing economic concern reported by 40 percent of respondents. Rising home prices forced 21 percent of homebuyers to search for affordable house in another more affordable metro area than their own.
Redfin conducted the survey through SurveyGizmo, reaching over 3,330 homebuyers who reported that they had either purchased a home or sold a home in the last year, or planned to do so in the next year.
The survey targeted 11 metros that have a large number of listings: Baltimore, MD, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, Denver, CO, Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC.
Click here to read the entire report.