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With the widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccines beginning in early 2021, local vaccination rates were found to have little impact on housing market performance or long-term, strategic housing decisions – but did lengthen transaction times in less-vaccinated areas. But the spread of more-transmissible variants has weakened that relationship, pointing to a future in which broad-based housing market dynamics are unlikely to be meaningfully disrupted by the still-unfolding pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges to real estate transactions. In-person interactions carry the risk of COVID transmission and high infection rates make open houses and other marketing strategies infeasible. However, the rise of highly effective vaccines has mitigated some of these complications. How has vaccination affected transaction speed and volume? Zillow found that homes for sale in areas with a greater vulnerability to COVID-19 – characterized in this analysis as areas with lower overall vaccination rates – typically spent slightly longer on Zillow until a pending sale, compared to their historical average time on market. However, measures of inventory, sale volume and price appear to be unaffected by local vaccination rates.