The sudden change in lifestyle during the pandemic has had a major impact on homebuyers’ needs and expectations.
Point2, a real estate news and market survey resource, mapped out the current profile of the U.S. buyer and compared housing preferences and priorities of home seekers before and after the pandemic lockdown.
Researchers examined five months’ worth of search behavior on its real estate marketplace, analyzed the data as a whole to discover the characteristics of the 2020 American home seeker so far.
A breakdown based on home searches before and after lockdown, Point2 identified the differences in price ceilings, space needs and home features preferences in both the pre- and post-lockdown timeframes.
What’s Important, No Longer Important
Since the lockdown, buyers want more space and more outdoor features and amenities. From square footage and number of bedrooms to access to outdoor amenities like pools and gardens, the post-lockdown home seekers are not willing to compromise on anything – and they are willing to pay the (higher) price to get it.
Before the lockdown, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and hardwood floors were a must, no matter the price category. Also, descriptions almost always mentioned the “open floor” concept and natural light, as well as any updates the property has undergone.
City Buyers Torn Between Extra Space & Affordability
Zooming in to city level, some particularities begin to take shape. Although space is the new mantra for most post-lockdown buyers, one home feature seems to be even more important than abundant square footage: floor plan design and efficiency. In other words, more walls and more separate rooms.
Although affordability considerations forced some home seekers to look for smaller homes, having more bedrooms and especially more bathrooms has become a must.
In some cities, searches for homes under 1,000 square feet have increased, but interest in properties with three and four or more bedrooms and three or more bathrooms is also up compared to the first months of the year.
This could be a sign that potential buyers are less worried about actual space than they are about having better defined spaces, and different rooms for different activities.