Welcome to today’s real estate market, where many ask if it’s still possible to buy or sell. As the Yorks have found, the answer is yes, though the process includes

What is the logic to panic buying toilet paper due to the coronavirus?

It’s amazing how many people here are answering without knowing the answer.

Firstly: People are preparing for an extended quarantine/lockdown type event – they are stocking up on all essential items. The reason does not really matter that much – the symptoms of coronavirus are not highly relevant to this.

Some people may be hoarding and overbuying, but there’s also a lot of people who have realised their pants are down all at the same time, and they are not prepared for any eventualities. If all of them buy only moderate amounts, that’s still a lot of extra demand in the short term.

Secondly: The thing that makes toilet paper different, at least in Australia where the hysteria is at its highest, is that toilet paper packs are very bulky and can only be held in limited quantities in a supermarket. This means they sell out far faster than other products that people are stockpiling, and can’t be immediately replenished.

Thirdly: Add in the typical panic buying mentality. Most people will buy (but not necessarily overbuy) more essentials if they believe they might not be able to get them easily. Once people starting seeing toilet paper shelves empty, assumptions were made, and they got even emptier – it spread across Australia, and it’s now spreading across the world.

So there you have it – general stockpiling, combined with limited stocks at supermarkets, created a problem that was at its biggest for toilet paper, and then panic buying magnified the effect.

With any luck, every house will be full of toilet paper, rice and Spam soon, and the panic buying will die down before the virus gets a chance to hit huge groups of people.

There’s nothing wrong with making sensible preparations, only with being selfish and taking more than you genuinely need.