If the Great Recession never happened, how would potential homebuyers be looking at today’s housing market?

After all, the giant cohort of potential homebuyers now in their late 20s and early 30s was also the generation fresh out of college trying to find a job as the market was crashing in 2008. They remember the struggles of trying to find a job, and they remember the large swath of inventory on the market that made home prices drop lower and lower.

So when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy a home in the middle of a recession, it’s difficult not to pull in past memories from the Great Recession. But this is a very different kind of recession, and, as Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist and senior vice president of analytics at Haus, said: “No housing analyst alive has seen the housing market perform during a pandemic.”

McLaughlin noted that in this economic downturn, policy plays a much larger role in what’s going to happen with the health of the housing market than fundamental economics.

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