How COVID-19 Has Changed Homebuying Demands

How COVID-19 Has Changed Homebuying Demands
  • Written on January 05, 2021

The recent pandemic has shaken up the world as we know it – from how we interact with loved ones and each other, to how we conduct business and simple tasks like going to the grocery store. The real estate and homebuilding industry has seen a dramatic shift in what potential homebuyers desire. 

Hampton Pitts, Raleigh-Durham division president, has seen this first-hand and our Triangle team has shifted their priorities to adjust to buyer needs. Here are a few of the top new trends:

Increasing interest in lower density areas. Forget the city, this year, homebuyers set their sights on smaller towns with lower populations in the suburbs. With cities shutting down businesses and stay-at-home orders enforced, large populous cities have lost their appeal and homeowners want to live somewhere where they can stretch out. "A lot of people are working from home. They now have the ability to live wherever they want to live," explained Pitts in a recent interview with WRAL-TV (NBC Raleigh-Durham). "Commute times don’t matter anymore.” Now, it’s more about where a person and their family actually want to live – not just what area makes the most sense based on a job. 

Additional need for space. With adults working from home and students participating in virtual learning, homes are getting a bit crowded. With this, homeowners are looking for bigger homes that ensure that their family members aren’t limited to sharing one room in the house when conducting business and/or school. Bedrooms now need to be big enough for a desk, kitchens with islands that can become a make-shift conference space and more. And, after being at home for an extended period of time, it’s incredibly important to have some personal space for a bit of R&R.

Flex spaces are a necessity, not a want. As we mentioned, more space has become that much more important. With that, comes the need for additional rooms within the house that can take on various roles. That’s where additional flex spaces play a key role. "A lot of our buyers really find value in it because it’s a flexible space that could be used for almost anything. It could be a home office, an exercise room, a bedroom or a hobby room," states Pitts. Additional rooms can take the place of a testing space, a spot to read your next novel or even somewhere to do daily meditation and yoga to unwind after a long work day.

Upgrading where they call “home.” With all the above in mind, homeowners are taking stock of what their current home is equipped with and checking it against their list of needs. If their home can’t accommodate, Pitts is seeing that, specifically in the Raleigh-Durham area, homeowners are making the switch and ‘moving up.’ "People are finding they have more equity in their homes now than they maybe had a couple years ago, and that’s allowing them to sell their home and re-invest in a new home that suits their needs better.”

As housing needs continue to change with this new normal, you can count on Stanley Martin Homes to change alongside it to make sure you and your family always find a home that’s designed for the way you live. For more information about the available neighborhoods we have, read more here.