Some 12% of US first-time homebuyers surveyed in the fourth quarter of last year said that selling cryptocurrency helped them save for a down payment — up from 9% in the third quarter of 2020, according to a survey by US real estate listing provider Redfin.

The Redfin-commissioned survey included some 1,500 American residents who said they planned to buy or sell a home in the following 12 months. Conducted by research technology company Lucid from December 10 to December 13, 2021, the survey focused on 215 of the 1,500 respondents who indicated they were planning to buy their first home in the next year. 

“With extra time and a lack of exciting ways to spend money, many people began trading cryptocurrencies during the pandemic,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin.

Fairweather said that a part of those investments “went up in smoke,” while others jumped “to the moon” or at least enough to help fund a down payment on a home.

Based on its research of the US real estate market, the company estimated that, in response to surging home prices that lead to larger down payments, a rising segment of buyers look for non-traditional ways to cover the cost of buying real estate and compete with other bidders. 

Last month, Redfin said that the median home sale price in the US increased by 14.6% year-on-year to a new all-time high of USD 361,171 during the four-week period ending December 26.

“Crypto is one way for people without generational wealth to win a lottery ticket to the middle class,” concluded the firm’s chief economist. 

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