In coronavirus housing market, 'better to be seller than buyer'

Home prices rose this spring in 96% of U.S. metro areas

While the number of Americans buying homes is increasing as the coronavirus spreads across the country, now may not be the best time to sign a mortgage contract, according to Realtor.com.

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Contrary to the myth that it's a "terrible time to sell a home," the seller's market is hot, putting some buyers at a disadvantage, the real-estate website reported.

US SALES OF EXISTING HOMES JUMP 20% AFTER A 3-MONTH SLUMP

"Buyers outnumber sellers in the housing market, which means it's better to be a seller than a buyer," Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, said in a statement.

Home for-sale sign (iStock)

Overall home listings dropped in July, and with buyers competing against each other, more are likely willing to make higher bids for certain properties, according to the website.

Consequently, housing prices are rising in most major U.S. metropolitan hubs as Americans adjust to working from home to avoid coronavirus infection. A number have opted to give up tiny downtown dwellings for larger living spaces and yards in the suburbs.

HOME PRICES CLIMB TO RECORD IN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AS BUYERS SEEK SPACE

In the second quarter of 2020, a whopping 96 percent of metro areas showed home price appreciation, and 15 cities reported double-digit growth, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

The national median home price increased to $291,300 as inventory levels shrank and mortgage rates remained low.

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"Multiple offers could be fairly common over the next few months," Lawrence Yun, the association's chief economist, said in a statement.

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