The hot housing market is more competitive than ever, leading people to make faster decisions on home purchases and even, in many cases, buy a house sight unseen, according to a new report by LendingTree.
LendingTree found that nearly half (47%) of consumers who bought a home in the past two years made an offer without physically touring the home. Comparatively, 24% of homebuyers overall and 12% who purchased their most recent home 10 or more years ago did the same, the data showed.
An unfortunate result of that is that 30% of homeowners say the house they now live in wasn’t their first choice. This is far more common among Midwesterners (35%) than Northeasterners (25%), according to the report.
Even if a home isn’t their first choice, many buyers are paying above the asking price. In the past two years, 24% paid more than the asking price, versus 5% who bought 10 or more years ago.
More than a third (36%) of recent buyers say they plan to move within the next five years. Almost half of these newer buyers (48%) say they plan to upsize with their next purchase, buying a larger home than the one they currently live in, according to the report.
Despite these homebuying stresses, 85% of homeowners agree that owning is ultimately more affordable than renting, LendingTree found. However, a 2021 LendingTree study found that renting is cheaper than owning in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros.