Home purchase trends were expected to revert, at least somewhat, back to normal after a vaccine became widely available. While there are ways in which life has eased back into more normal patterns of socializing and spending time with others, not everything has gone back “to normal.”
Many top real estate agents actually see the COVID-19 shifts in buyer demands as likely to become semi-permanent changes. People realized new things that matter to them during times of social distancing, and the market in mid-2021 seems to show that these changes continue to have an appeal even in a world with a COVID 19 vaccine. Here are some of the trends.
Home Offices Valued With Hybrid Schedules on the Rise
Many employers who saw no reduction in productivity during remote work have decided to offer long-term flexibility to their employees: 1-2 days a week working from home, perhaps, on days when no important in-person meetings or events are happening.
As this schedule becomes possible and popular, homeowners are still prizing their home office spaces. Having a separate room that isn’t a bedroom, dining room, or living room for work is still an in-demand picture. Homes that previously were sold using just the amount of bedrooms are now offering the point that some of the bedrooms make great home offices, and are selling well as a result.
Continued Emphasis on Private Outdoor Hosting Spaces
Minimal socialization happened during the height of the pandemic in the United States, but one safe option was hosting a family member or friend or two in the backyard. Outdoor kitchens, patios, pools, and hot tubs all gained popularity during this time, giving people places to enjoy without having to go out in public to relax outdoors. These items are still bringing home sellers a premium lately, and the popularity of having one’s own backyard oasis doesn’t seem to be fading, even after it’s safer to be out and about.
The Schools Still Matter Most for Families With Kids
One trend that didn’t change, even with virtual schooling this past year in many districts? Homeowners with kids want great school districts, and they prioritize this in the house hunt. Knowing that many school districts are returning to in-person school exclusively in the fall of 2021 has meant that most families are sticking with places that have the school district they want, not living far away while virtual-schooling somewhere else.
Walkability Prized for Gen Z and Gen X
Many people who needed to get a little fresh air and a break from their homes this past year took more walks than usual, and in so doing, may have discovered new priorities in future home hunts. Gen X buyers are mentioning an interest in walkable neighborhoods, while Gen Z, just entering the housing markets, are focused on being close to shopping and dining. These elements could make condominiums and other multi-unit housing appealing if it is located in areas with abundant sidewalks, greenways, and access to the city center or a cute downtown.