Renters are becoming buyers during the pandemic

Posted May 21, 2020 2:55 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2020 8:19 p.m. EDT

— Cramped quarters, a need for a home office and maybe even a desire to take advantage of low interest rates are reasons many renters are trying to enter the real estate market right now.

"It’s happening a lot. A lot more right now," said Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty."I have actually been surprised how many renters are looking to buy right now."

According to data from Zillow, during the height of the pandemic 22% of renters surveyed said they are hoping to buy within the next year.

David Robbins is a first-time home buyer and closed on his home in late March which was a good time to see the benefits.

"During this, you know, stay-at-home thing, it’s been nice... have a bonus room. I set up a pool table and a dart board, and I could never do that in an apartment," Robbins said.

He said a big factor in getting it done at this time was the low interest rates. .

Another factor that could be leading to more renters entering the market is a lack of competition that is usually present in markets like the Triangle.

"You might have a large share of people who had been frustrated, disappointed, they lost out previous home shopping seasons," said Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow. "They are looking around in this environment and thinking I can lean into these virtual tours and maybe that’s my advantage."

And they may get the chance to do this as other buyers wait to see how the economy will shake out as the pandemic continues.

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