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'Pandemic Housing Fever' Rushes Some Buyers Into Purchasing

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Market Data + Trends

'Pandemic Housing Fever' Rushes Some Buyers Into Purchasing


February 16, 2021
Woman sitting on sofa looking worried during pandemic
Photo: Prostock-studio

One Los Angeles resident found herself a homeowner after losing bidding wars for months—only to realize she hated the $600,000 house. She blames the “pandemic housing fever” for her expensive mistake, telling the Wall Street Journal she should have seen all the warning signs. A home is one purchase that buyers should not rush into, but the Wall Street Journal says millions of Americans are doing just that. The craze and rush to purchase a home took precedence over oversight, especially during spring 2020 in the Hamptons as New Yorkers fled the city, says one broker. 

Many home buyers were apartment dwellers looking for larger spaces to shelter in. “It was a land grab for houses,” said Cheryl Eisen, CEO of the interior-design and property-marketing firm Interior Marketing Group. “People wanted out of apartments.”

At the same time, inventory dropped as many homeowners hesitated to list their properties in the pandemic. The result is that much of the country saw a price spike and bidding wars, brokers said, leaving buyers with little to choose from. In these conditions, many are tempted to waive inspections or skip other due diligence they would normally perform before buying a home.

Ms. Holloway said she helped a family move this summer after discovering that the Hamptons house they had just bought had an infestation of wasps nests in the backyard. The family didn’t find the wasps until after closing because they had waived the inspection in the midst of a bidding war, said Ms. Holloway, who wasn’t representing them at the time. Deciding the property was unsafe for their young children, they immediately put the Westhampton Beach home on the market. Ms. Holloway and a colleague helped them find another house to buy.

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