How COVID-19 and Political Unrest is Affecting Housing Market

One industry that has been relatively immune from the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 health crisis is the housing market. However, ongoing protests and increasing political tension is changing the way that people look at their housing situation. Here are a few of the top housing market headlines making news this week.

Demand for Second Homes on Rise

While there are certainly millions of Americans that have experienced severe economic devastation at the hands of the ongoing pandemic, this is not the case everywhere. Sales of second homes are on the rise. This rapid increase is being attributed to a growing number of Americans that are looking to get out of the big cities that are ripe with COVID-19.

Sales of vacation homes jumped 100% from the previous year, according to October home sales data. This figure was more than the 50% increase in sales for primary homes. This data indicates that affluent homeowners are using their financial means to invest in a hot housing market while enjoying the freedom to be able to leave areas with higher COVID-19 rates. The ability of more professionals to work from home is also contributing to this rapid increase in the popularity of second homes.

Resort Towns Home Sales Flourishing

Related to the effects of the surging pandemic is the data that shows the sales of homes in resort towns on a sharp upswing. As families flee the major metropolitan areas, smaller resort towns are becoming increasingly popular places to relocate. Some of the hottest markets in the last few months in the US are popular resort towns. These include Bend, Oregon, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Lake Tahoe, California, and Ocean City, New Jersey.

Like second homes, more people are choosing these resort areas because it is easier to do their job from any location. As more employers allow their staff to telecommute, housing experts predict that these less populated destinations will continue to see a surge in popularity.

Politics Playing Increasing Role in Home Location Choices

After this contentious presidential election season, it is no surprise to learn that political beliefs are also playing a role in where people decide to make their home. According to an October Redfin survey, 42% of US residents would be wary of moving to any area with people that have different political views than their own. This number is up from 32% in June, signaling a significant shift in the role that politics may play in attracting new residents. The survey demonstrated that Donald Trump voters and Joe Biden voters were both hesitant in equal numbers to leave their political bubble.

The role of politics in how people choose a place to live is greater than race, religion, or ethnicity concerns. Only 28% of respondents indicated that they would be hesitant to move somewhere where the majority of people are of a different, race, ethnicity, or religion. This number was split more definitively along party lines. 36% of Trump voters said that they would be hesitant to move to a location where most residents are of a different race or ethnicity or practice a different religion. In contrast, only 23% of Biden voters said that this would be a concern when deciding where to live.

Protests Driving People Out of Cities

Another factor that is driving people out of the cities is the ongoing protests. It does not matter if the protests are related to politics or racial relations, even the optics of the unrest are leading people to want to flee these areas. 30% of Americans have reported that the protests are making them consider moving to a quieter area.

This desire to move is higher among Trump voters with 39% of these people expressing the wish to leave the big cities because of this reason. Conversely, 47% of those surveyed said that the protests did not affect their feelings about where they wanted to live. In addition, 23% of respondents said that the civil unrest made them liked where they lived even more.

As with everything related to COVID-19 and the housing market, things can change on a dime. This makes it important that you stay on top of this fluid situation, particularly if you have significant amounts of money tied up in the housing market.

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