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Housing Demand Holding Steady Amid Coronavirus

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Housing Demand Holding Steady Amid Coronavirus

March 12, 2020
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By Tierney

Though the long-term effects of the coronavirus on the housing market are yet to be determined, Redfin says that housing demand on its site is holding steady with healthy growth. Though demand has pulled back slightly as the stock market dips, low interest rates seem to be keeping some buyers interested, according to a Redfin survey. But demand in Seattle and San Francisco has dropped, an important detail for what may happen in cities where the virus spreads next. For now, however, the demand in the rest of the country seems to be continuing its growth into the spring buying season.

Redfin is publishing this housing-market update as a way to inform our customers, not our investors. We aim to be candid and truthful with our customers about what’s happening in the housing market, especially in uncertain times. For our investors, consistent with our past practices, we’ll report our first quarter results and provide second quarter guidance in May. Even though we’re notifying investors through a government filing about this customer update, we’re not updating, withdrawing, or affirming the first quarter financial guidance we issued on February 12, 2020. No one should try to determine our revenues based on our remarks about our own home-buying demand data, since the rate at which demand turns into home purchases has varied at Redfin. Similarly, no one should draw conclusions about our listing business based on the data we share about industry-wide inventory trends, since our own listing demand varies based on changes to our website and our pricing, and because of many other factors.

Dear Redfin Customers,

As the financial markets swing up and down over coronavirus concerns, many of you have wondered how the housing market’s faring. Last week, we reported that demand in the Seattle area, which has had the highest U.S. rates of confirmed infections, had dropped significantly, but the rest of the country was holding up reasonably well.

Growth in Home-buying Demand Moderating, But Still Mostly Strong 

Now coronavirus fears have spread from Seattle to other parts of the country, but we haven’t seen a big impact on home-buying demand yet. We measure demand by looking at the annual growth rate in people going on their first home tours with a Redfin agent, to see if that rate slowed over the past seven days compared to the first two months of 2020.

Read More

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