As COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our communities, many are wondering what it means for the housing market. Homebuying demand is 5.5% higher than it was pre-pandemic: According to Redfin, homebuying demand has had a roaring comeback. In fact, it is now 5.5% higher than it was pre-pandemic. This demand has pushed median list prices up 5% and inventory is increasing, but can’t keep up. The above graph shows the bounce back in demand. Many believe this is fueled by low-interest rates, loosening of stay at home orders, and a sense of security. Buyers needs and wants have changed: While buyers may be back to pre-COVID demand, their needs have changed. MaryDell Penney, Redfin Market Manager in Central Florida, said, “Pre-COVID people wanted a beautiful open floor plan. After a few months in quarantine, buyers want quiet spaces where they can actually get away from everyone else and dedicated space for school and work.” Homebuyer Predictions: The floor plan isn’t the only change realtors expect to see. In a recent survey conducted by Coldwell Banker, most agents predicted a shift in buyer behavior. Of the respondents, 41% predicted more people would seek out homes with space for an office, 26% predict buyers will have an increased interest in rural areas, and 24% predict buyers will look for homes with private outdoor spaces. The results also suggested an increased interest in suburbs, home walkability, and space for a personal gym. Inman echoed these predictions by listing the following four trends to watch out for in the coming months:
- Less Dense Living: Homebuyers will prefer single-family homes with a private outdoor area over a condo/apartment/co-op living space
- Functional Spaces: Homebuyers will search for homes with a flexible floor plan that offers things like; bonus rooms, office space, second master suites, guest quarters, third car garages, etc. that could be utilized for different purposes.
- Amenities: Spending more time at home will make homebuyers list vacation-like amenities as a need. Inman predicts homes with amenities like; backyard kitchens, pools, sports courts, home gyms, etc. will receive more action.
- Location: Properties that offer people the ability to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in opportune climates will likely become on-trend.