Wildfires Has New York Homeowners In a “For Sale” State of Mind

The Canadian wildfire smoke drifting across the northern U.S. may be doing something the nation’s sluggish economy could not – boost American residential home sales.

According to data analysis from FindStorageFast, a storage unit services provider, Google searches for the term “sell my home fast” skyrocketed by 2,147% in New York City on June 7, at the height of the wildfire smoke in the Big Apple.

The smoke has U.S. residents reaching for face masks and shelter, especially in New York City.

According to a study from IQAir, New York’s air quality ranks among the worst in the country.

“The city has been covered by a blanket of orange smog due to smoke from Canada’s wildfires, resulting in hazardous air quality for millions,” the storage company noted in a June 8 statement. “Authorities have instructed residents to remain inside.”

The urge to sell their homes and leave New York comes at a time when the U.S. residential real estate market is in a flat-growth mode in June, a time when home sales activity is historically highly active.

High interest rates and low home inventory are the main reasons for slow home sales activity, but it won’t be easy for New Yorkers to sell their properties fast. The median home sales price in the city stands at $650,000 and with mortgage rates well over 6%, buyers likely won’t be lining up to overpay for a home in smoke-filled New York.

“With rising inflation rates, property values have surged, but homeowners and sellers still aren’t in a prime position to benefit,” said D’Arcy Hunter, CEO, and founder at FindStorageFast. “High rental and purchase prices and banks not willing to lend means that first-time buyers can’t afford to cover down payments.”

“Sellers also cannot afford to repurchase in central urban areas,” Hunter added. “With the report showing that New York’s air quality is currently among the world’s worst, it is clear to see why New Yorkers are tempted to sell at this time.”

“As the housing market becomes a bigger challenge in America, it will be interesting to see if this spike translates into more listings and sales and what this may mean for the city’s housing market long-term,” Hunter said.

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