All across the nation, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc. Industries have come to a grinding halt, people have lost their jobs and don’t know what tomorrow brings. Small businesses have had to close their doors and even large businesses have gone out of business! Yet the real estate industry is making a comeback after the housing market fell by 30% in April, according to HomeLight’s Q2 survey. By the end of the survey period (June 24, 2020), 49% of agents said business is actually growing despite the pandemic.
So, what consumer trends are we likely to see in the next few months? What kind of features are buyers looking for when they’re house hunting?
1. Unique and functional living spaces
After spending months cooped up in the house, people are getting tired of staring at the same four walls day in and day out. With traveling being out of the picture, they’re eager for change. So, for those who have to move, they want space and a lot of it.
Buyers are looking for homes with numerous spaces that can act as a home office, home gym, or just a private little sanctuary when they need some peace and quiet. They’re even dabbling with the idea of converting a shed into their own little haven.
Source: Curbed New York
2. Ample space outdoors
Not only are people looking for plenty of space indoors, they also want a lot of space outside, too. Patios, decks, pools and big lawns are hot ticket items because it gives the buyer space to get fresh air, stretch their legs, and entertain once the social distancing orders have been lifted.
Along with outdoor space, buyers also like homes that have a nice yard. Manicured lawns, well-maintained flower beds, trimmed trees, and the like are a lot more desirable than you might have guessed!
3. Low rates for mortgages and refinancing
With mortgage rates being at a historic low, it’s an excellent time for interested buyers to lock in their mortgages now. It’s very likely that these rates will stay this low at least until 2021, so you do have some time to get approved.
Buyers aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of low-interest rates! If you’re a homeowner and you have been paying on your house for a while, you can apply for refinancing to lower your monthly payment and take out some equity for those renovations you’ve been considering.
4. Shopping for homes go virtual
Just like buying a car, people can go online and shop for houses! More and more people are using listing sites to start their house hunting as it gives them an idea of what’s available in their desired area. Once they’ve decided on a house, they can contact the listing agent and set up an appointment to see the home in person.
5. Suburban or rural neighborhoods
City life may seem appealing to a lot of people, but thanks to the coronavirus, people are a little hesitant to stay in a densely populated city. Social distancing is nearly impossible if you use public transportation and there’s always a lot of people on sidewalks getting from one place to another. We won’t even mention the fact that there are few single-family homes, which means there’s a possibility of the virus (or any other disease or disaster like a fire) could spread throughout the entire apartment building.
As a result of this, people are ditching the city scene and are heading out to the peace and quiet that suburban or rural life can bring. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper to live outside of the city, which is another reason many are choosing less densely populated areas.
Source: Sustainable Man