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One in Three Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen, Up from Nearly One in Five a Year Ago

Thirty-three percent of people who bought a home during the past year made an offer without first seeing the home in person, according to a May survey of 3,350 homebuyers and sellers commissioned by Redfin. In a similar survey completed last year, 19 percent of buyers said they had offered sight-unseen. Among recent millennial homebuyers, 41 percent had done so.

“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” says Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “They are three times more likely than baby boomers to make an offer sight-unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings. Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into millennials’ decisions about where to live; nearly half cited hesitations about moving to a place where their neighbors wouldn’t share their views.”

Here, some other major findings from the survey:

• Affordable housing was the most prevalent economic concern, cited by 40 percent of buyers; rising prices caused 21 percent to search in other metro areas where homes cost less.

• Forty-one percent of buyers would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views from their own.

• Orders restricting immigration influenced the buying and selling plans of 52 percent of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents; 45 percent of minority buyers felt that sellers and their agents may have been less eager to work with them because of their race.

• Buyers remain resilient amid the prospect of rising mortgage rates. Just 5 percent said they’d cancel their plans if rates surpass 5 percent.

• Fifty-one percent of buyers and 46 percent of sellers saved money on real estate commissions.