Even a pandemic can’t slow homebuyers down, apparently. Applications to purchase a home jumped a whopping 26% in May, and according to real estate brokerage Redfin, buyer demand is now 25% above pre-pandemic levels.
Even bidding wars have surged back with a vengeance.
In fact, almost half of all Redfin offers were met with competition in May—a jump of 43.9% over April. In 11 of the nation’s biggest markets, bidding wars were actually the norm.
Over 64% of Boston homebuyers, for example, saw a bidding war in May, while 60.8% of those in Dallas did. Washington, D.C., buyers were also met with stiff competition for the month.
“We’re seeing a frenzy,” said Delince Louis, a real estate agent in Boston. “Any home below $500,000 is receiving multiple offers. We just don’t have the supply to meet the demand.”
What’s particularly interesting is the rising move toward single-family. Redfin reported a 33% uptick in saved single-family property searches from February to May. That’s also up 28% over the year and the largest share of searches on Redfin’s records since 2016.
Other types of properties—like condos, townhouses, and multifamily homes—are actually seeing declining interest. In May, Redfin saw interest in these properties hit a three-year low.
The data reflects a growing penchant for larger properties—most likely due to social distancing orders which had families stuck at home, working remotely and in need of additional space.
According to Realtor.com, though, it’s not just bigger homes buyers are looking for post-pandemic. They’re also on the hunt for more space plot-wise, too.
In May, suburban listing views were up 13%—double the growth rate of urban properties. Rural properties saw more interest, too. On Realtor.com’s Hottest Markets list (which tracks almost 20,000 different ZIP codes across the country), rural ZIPs jumped a median 846 spots, while those in suburban areas rose 404.
According to Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com, this suburban migration happens annually, but this year, it’s been “more pronounced.”
“Suburban interest typically peaks during the summer, as families look to move before the start of the school year,” Vivas says. “However, suburban interest in May outpaced last year’s July peak, which could indicate even stronger interest in the suburbs as the summer homebuying season continues to heat up.”