Is Working from Home Changing Homebuyer Needs?

Working remotely has changed how Americans spend their time at home. The home office has taken on new meaning, and homeowners are no longer looking for a house with a room that can be used as a home office (kitchen, bedroom, or den). Spending extra time at home and the desire for more space, both indoors and outdoors, is sparking interest among homebuyers, according to Keeping Current Matters.

George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com says, “The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in government, business, and consumer responses.” Ratiu also says, “Remote work is expected to change the housing landscape over the next few years.”

The M Report has data from a June survey by Realtor.com-HarrisX showing that 63% of those currently working from home, and looking to purchase a new home, said their motivation to move was the result of their ability to work remotely.

Reassessing Home Needs

As more businesses work out how to efficiently and effectively enable their employees to work from home, homeowners are reassessing their home needs. Some of the questions homeowners are asking themselves include:

  • Is living close to the office really important?
  • Should I have more office space at home?
  • Does moving to the suburbs make sense for my family?

Realtor.com’s Ratiu says, “Although it’s too early to tell what long-term impact the COVID-era of remote work will have on housing, it’s clear that the pandemic is shaping how people live and work under the same roof.”

Challenging Times

Americans are beginning to think differently about homeownership. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found:

  • New single-family home sales in June jumped 14% over May.
  • Low interest rates supported the increased housing demand.
  • There is a renewed consumer focus on the importance of housing.
  • There is a rising demand in lower-density markets like suburbs and exurbs.

How Americans define “home” is quickly shifting for many families. Homeowners are finding their home has not only become their office, but the children’s classroom, a workout facility, and a general safe haven for the family.

More than ever, having a place to focus on a professional life while balancing personal priorities forces homeowners to be creative and use their existing space wisely. In many cases, a new home is the best option.

Closing Points

In today’s real estate market, making a move while mortgage rates are at historic lows may make it possible to purchase a larger home, just when your family needs it most.

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