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    Re-examining Housing Preferences: A New Trend

    Due to the current situation, many consumers are re-examining the components that make up the “perfect home.” For example, suburban or rural life where it’s less congested generating interest over city life (more congested). The preference for “open floor plans” is fading as people need more privacy while working from home.
    According to a report released by news.com, the year-over-year percentage increases in views per property type are Urban +7%, Suburban +13% and Rural +16%. Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for realtor.com comments: “This migration to the suburbs is not a new trend, but it has become more pronounced. After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are likely two of the factors contributing to the popularity of the burbs.”
    Realtor Magazine reports that the desire to move is strongest in urban housing markets: “Nearly 30% of respondents living in a high-density urban area say that the pandemic is prompting them to want to move by the end of the year…This is more than double the rate of those living in rural parts of the country, where residents are much more likely to stay put rather than to relocate.”
    Since the pandemic has altered how consumers think about floor plans, builders are anticipating how future homes will change. Zillow reports that “builders believe as people spend more time at home during the pandemic, buyers are realizing which features of their homes are working and not working. Homebuilders predict open-concept floor plans will be a thing of the past, as people now value more walls, doors, and overall privacy.”
    New construction is also seeing a surge in interest because it offers the chance to personalize home features. Listing page views have grown 73% over last May.
    Luxury second home markets are also seeing a huge impact from the pandemic. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com recently reported: “Stay at home orders and social distancing have put a new value on the extra space. We’re seeing this in the luxury market as well, which could mean there is renewed interest from high-end buyers to find a second-home that is within driving distance from their primary residence. Much like the suburbs are gaining favor with home shoppers, second home markets are seeing increased interest from luxury buyers…Views of luxury properties accelerated 56% in The Hamptons, 28% in Palm Springs and 24% in Greenwich compared to January trends.”
    The bottom line is that many people are looking to move in the near future. Whether it be an exodus from the cities, lifestyle changes creating a demand for new home layouts or the need for an extra living space, trends are changing. As an experienced realtor, I can assist with assessing your needs and finding the right space for you!

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