2020 NAR Survey: Homebuyers reassessing home sizes; sellers desiring accelerated transactions

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered behaviors and preferences of home buyers and sellers throughout the nation. In 2020, buyers have been seeking bigger homes and sellers are looking to sell at a faster pace compared to pre-pandemic. These behaviors and preferences are findings from a NAR survey of buyers and sellers for the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is an annual report produced by the National Association of REALTORS® which highlights demographics, preferences, and experiences of buyers and sellers at a national level.

2020 Home Buyers

Buyers who completed their transaction after March were more likely to purchase a multi-generational home.

After March, 15% of sales were multigenerational home purchases. The pandemic has led home buyers to “reassess their housing situations and even reconsider home sizes and destinations” and seek “housing with more rooms, more square footage and more yard space, as they may have desired a home office or home gym” according to Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at NAR.

Buyers who purchased after March were more likely to relocate to the suburbs and were more likely to pay more for that home.

Buyers relocated to the suburbs regardless of its location and paid nearly $70,000 more on average compared to the average home price paid before April. The amount of buyers who purchased a home without touring the home in-person was also up by 2%.

2020 Home Sellers

Sellers had more desire to accelerate their transactions.

After March, sellers were more likely to use incentives to help sell their homes faster. The houses they were selling had higher selling prices than those prior to March and were sold for 98% of the list price.

Sellers who closed in April or after were more likely to move because they want a bigger home.

“So many sellers were eager to get out of their old home and move to something bigger that would better meet their needs during quarantine,” said Lautz.

Sellers in the suburbs account for 56% of the sellers, which is up by 8% since before April.


View 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Statistics from NAR – Highlights From the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.


About NAR’s Survey

NAR mailed a 131-question survey in July 2020 using a random sample weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis to 132,550 recent home buyers. Respondents had the option to fill out the survey via hard copy or online; the online survey was available in English and Spanish. A total of 8,212 responses were received from primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 6.2%. The sample at the 95% confidence level has a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 1.08%.

Recent home buyers had to have purchased a primary residence home between July of 2019 and June of 2020.