The Ritz Herald
Top down aerial shot of suburban tract housing near Santa Clarita, California. © Hal Bergman

More California REALTORS® Expect COVID-19 to Impact Housing Market


C.A.R. flash survey

Published on March 20, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen, a growing number of California REALTORS® this week expect the pandemic to negatively impact their business, primarily with open house traffic, where 85 percent expect a negative impact in that area of their business, according to a flash poll conducted by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

(Note: the survey was conducted March 14-16, prior to the “shelter in place” and closing of non-essential businesses announcement in six Bay Area counties and Sonoma County and before Los Angeles’ mayor issued temporary restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.)

Highlights of the poll:

  • More than three-fourths (78 percent) of California REALTORS® expect there will be a negative impact on home sales, up from 53 percent last week.
  • Nearly three in four (74 percent) said they expect time on market will be negatively impacted, up from 51 percent last week.
  • Seventy-four percent of California REALTORS® said home sales will be negatively affected, up from 53 percent last week.
  • Other areas that REALTORS® said would be negatively impacted were housing inventory (62 percent), price (58 percent), closing (52 percent), time in escrow (45 percent) and market competition (41 percent).
  • Seventy-five percent said they have not been doing more virtual tours. (This question was not asked in Week 1.)
  • More than a half of REALTORS® (54 percent) had clients who backed out from a home purchase because of the coronavirus and less than one-half (45 percent) had clients who backed out from a home sale. (This question was not asked in Week 1.)
  • The vast majority of REALTORS® have not had sellers who wanted to take their home off the market due to coronavirus concerns. (This question was not asked in Week 1.)
  • Two-thirds of REALTORS® had clients asking them coronavirus market-related questions, up from 40 percent last week.

The survey was conducted March 14-16 via email, asking members how the coronavirus outbreak was affecting their business. Nearly 1,100 responses were received.