Oct 30, 2023 - News

In today's market, haunted houses aren't so bad

Animated illustration of a haunted house with three ghosts coming out of it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Today's housing market is so tight that 67% of prospective buyers would settle for a haunted house, so long as it were affordable or had other appeal, a Zillow survey found.

What's happening: In Zillow's survey of prospective buyers, 35% said they could be convinced to buy a haunted house if it were priced lower than the rest of the market.

  • 32% would buy if the location was right.
  • 40% would buy for key features such as a big backyard, pool or a two-car garage.

Why it matters: Zillow's latest monthly market report shows that home values have been slipping slightly nationwide, but in Miami, they rose 0.5% from August to September.

  • They increased 5.7% from September 2022 to September 2023.
  • Zillow reports that the typical home in Miami was $473,552 as of September.

Driving the news: A separate Zillow analysis found that buyers need a six-figure income to comfortably afford a typical home, with a 10% down payment.

Zoom out: Rumors of a home being haunted can affect its resale value, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Miami Shores-based agent Wes Pearce told the Journal that claims of hauntings are impossible to prove, "and such subjective claims could unfairly tarnish perfectly good properties."
  • Three states have laws specifying that such claims do not need to be disclosed to potential buyers. In New York, for example, if a seller has publicized that a home is haunted, it must be disclosed.

Yes, but: In all states, sellers and agents must represent the home's history truthfully if asked.

What they're saying: "The combination of high prices, limited inventory and rising interest rates is creating a witches' brew of trouble for would-be homeowners," Manny Garcia, a senior population scientist at Zillow, said in a statement.

  • "Despite these chilling conditions, life events like job changes, coupling up and having children still drive households to buy," he said.

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