April 22, 2021

3 Ways That The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Could Impact The Housing Market

The vaccine rollout is already changing life for the millions of Americans who’ve received them and are now fully vaccinated. 

We’re visiting loved ones, hugging our grandparents, and eating in restaurants. We’re scheduling vacations and—listing our homes? 

That’s one of the big questions in the housing market right now: how will the continued vaccine rollout affect the housing market? 

While no one can know for sure, here are a few predictions. 

The summer season, which is typically hot for real estate, will be even hotter this year

Home buying typically shifts into high gear during the late spring and summer months anyway, as families with children plan their moves for after school is out and the warm weather makes house hunting a more enjoyable endeavor. 

That’s in a normal year. With a housing market that’s already in high gear, plus a vaccine that’s making it possible for millions of people to travel and be in public much more, real estate agents are predicting an even stronger summer than usual. 

In fact, the Top Agent Insights Report for Spring 2021 from HomeLight reports that 84% of agents surveyed said they were optimistic about the market for the rest of the year—and that’s an all-time high for the report. 

Homeowners are feeling optimistic, too. According to Livabl, 70% of homeowners said they’d be “mostly or completely comfortable” moving to a new home after widespread vaccine distribution. 

While more homeowners may decide to sell, the inventory shortage is here to stay

While it’s true that the vaccine will likely give more would-be sellers the confidence to actually take the leap and list their homes this summer, potentially adding more inventory to the real estate market, the shortage won’t be fixed that quickly. 

That’s because the inventory shortage is so severe, hitting record lows in 2020, that it will take much longer to get levels back up to normal. In fact, the number of houses on the market in March 2021 was 52% lower than in March 2020, right when the pandemic first began. 

Part of that is also due to the fact that so many renters are becoming first-time home buyers. This was the case in 2020, and will continue to be the case in 2021, as more of us are looking at permanent work-from-home situations and rental affordability becomes an increasingly serious issue. 

Home prices will continue to soar

Housing prices have gone up considerably during the pandemic, and that shows no signs of stopping. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing home sale price rose 17.2% in March of this year. 

Many in the industry believe that prices will continue to go up, driven both by low inventory and the huge number of buyers, both first-time and those looking to increase their space, entering the market this year. 

What’s more, as more renters and other potential buyers reach full vaccination—and with all U.S. adults eligible for the vaccine as of late April, there may well be a surge in fully vaccinated people in June and July—they’ll be more likely to start looking  seriously for their first or next home, whether in person or by using online tools like a home affordability calculator

The vaccine rollout stands to make a strong real estate market even stronger. Potential sellers, this summer may be an ideal time to sell your home and find your next one—with a market this hot, you could get even more value for your home than you ever imagined.