Belfiore cancellation data: COVID-19 uncertainty has buyers waiting until last minute on whether to cancel or go through with home purchases

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Some prospective buyers are canceling contracts to buy homes due to COVID-19 and its economic impacts.

Many of those cancelations are happening at the last minute, according to real estate expert Jim Belfiore.

“They are waiting until the last minute until they are going to close, or they are going to cancel,” said Belfiore, who is president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

Belfiore’s research firm has started tracking cancelations for new home purchases since the Coronavirus shutdown much of the economy. Home builders have closed sales offices to public traffic though a number are still doing by appointment meetings as well as virtual tours.

Belfiore said prospective buyers are waiting on whether to close or cancel purchases in part because of disparate information and lack of visibility on the pandemic and its end.

“People are very uncertain. They’ve got mixed information,” said Belfiore pointing to varying information and projections on how long COVID-19 will last and how long it will impact the economy.

Belfiore said his latest data shows the strength of the housing before the Coronavirus shutdown the economy. But he continues to expect to see a significant drop in new homes sales for the second quarter with the virus hitting jobs and consumer confidence.

“We’re maintaining we are probably going to be down about 80 percent,” Belfiore said.

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