Why Some Pandemic Buyers Are Regretting Their Home Purchases

For nearly two years, buyers have faced soaring prices, plunging inventory, and tight competition, forcing many into rushed offers on homes that they may otherwise think twice about buying. Now, the desperation of some pandemic buyers is giving way to regret, according to The New York Times. Many entered into homeownership on a whim, looking for Zoom rooms, bigger backyards, and a chance to accrue equity wealth in a volatile economy. Instead, they rushed into what was left of a picked-over market to make potentially the biggest financial investments of their lives.

In a recent homeowner survey from Zillow, roughly one third of respondents say that they regret buying a fixer-upper house that needed more work than they anticipated, 31% wish the home they bought was bigger, and 21% felt that they overpaid.

“Pandemic era buyers faced unprecedented conditions, they had far fewer homes to choose from, they had far more competition for the homes that were for sale,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “A lot of buyers ended up in this home that was maybe not what they expected.”

Buyers stepping into the 2022 market have much to learn from those who shopped before them. Market forecasts predict that conditions won’t change significantly this spring. If anything, they might get tougher. At the end of December, inventory fell to a record low, according to the National Association of Realtors. Zillow projects that home prices will rise another 16 percent in 2022, on top of the 20 percent rise in 2021. Rising interest rates will likely push some buyers out of the market, but they could be replaced with others looking to escape rising rents or shoppers who sat on the sidelines last year, waiting for some stability.

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