Shifting Home Buying Trends Due to COVID-19

shifting home buying trends

May and June saw a large increase in real estate home sales after a very slow spring, due to people opting to get out of large cities and relocating to smaller towns and rural areas. While most REALTORS® are reporting their markets are in recovery mode, as well as busier than this time last year, REALTORS® are also reporting that they have seen shifting home buying trends of what home buyers are looking for now due to COVID-19. Here’s what REALTORS® are seeing:

Potential buyers are in a rush: With lifestyles massively shifting in response to the pandemic, buyers are in even more of a rush than ever to buy homes, especially homes in small towns and rural areas. As people look to vacate large, densely populated areas, potential buyers are now looking at only 3-4 homes versus the usual 9, and the average selling time for a house on the market is 24 days according to REALTOR® magazine. The urgency to buy is highest for those looking to move to rural areas. 

Shifting home wish lists: REALTORS® are reporting that homebuyers are prioritizing differently what they want in a home than pre-pandemic. In addition to seeing rising demands for homes that have spaces for home offices, buyers are looking for homes with larger outdoor spaces, gardens and pools. 

Homes that are accommodating to pets: While working from home, there was a surge in consumers wanting to buy a pet. Now, when looking for real estate, a survey by the NAR revealed that 43% of households would be willing to move to accommodate their pets. As the real estate market continues to rise, REALTORS® should take note: outdoor spaces, fenced in yards or larger utility rooms or mud rooms might be a big draw to home buyers who want to ensure they have adequate space for their four legged family members.  

Buyers are less worried about commutes: As working from home and working remotely seems to be a practice that will be staying around for the foreseeable future, buyers are less concerned about buying homes that are within commuting distance to their offices. This also has sparked buying in more rural areas, as it is often more affordable than property that is within commuting distance to large metropolitan areas. As the work from home trend continues, the demand for buying affordable properties that can also act as second homes has increased, especially in rural areas. 

These shifting house buying trends mean great news for the Mid Hudson and Ulster County area. Small cities, towns and rural areas that have plenty of outdoor space, homes that can accommodate office space,are pet friendly, and can act as second homes without sacrificing too much distance to cities such as New York or Albany make this area an ideal location. While this area has already seen a huge increase in home sales over the past two months, this trend likely is not going to be ending for some time. REALTORS® should make sure they are highlighting these important features to their prospective home buyers. For more information on shifting home buying trends, make sure you checkout the NAR’s full write up.  


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