Homebuyer Buzz: Home Purchase Plans Not Impacted by the Pandemic

July 30, 2020

Homebuyer Buzz - Home Purchase Plans Not Impacted by the Pandemic

Homebuyer Buzz is our monthly round-up of news stories related to the latest in homebuying trends — from the evolving wants of homebuyers to design news and more.  

In our latest Buzz, we’re continuing to look at how COVID-19 is impacting homebuying. While it doesn’t appear to be influencing purchasing decisions, the pandemic is making some people rethink bigger homes, where they’re searching for a new home and if Cottagecore is the design trend we’ve all been missing out on.  

COVID hasn’t impacted home purchase plans. NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report found that the percentage of Americans considering a home purchase remained relatively flat from the second quarter of 2019 to the same period this year. It appears to indicate the pandemic hasn’t impacted home purchase plans over the next 12 months. [NAHB Now] 

More buyers are looking out of town. Redfin is reporting that 27 percent of home searchers looked outside their current markets for a new home during the second quarter of 2020. That’s up from 26 percent in the first quarter of this year and 25.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Phoenix, Sacramento and Las Vegas were the most popular destinations. [Redfin]  

Are bigger homes making a comeback? While less space had been trending pre-virus, some real estate experts believe the pandemic will encourage people to look for more square footage again. However, it’s unlikely that means McMansions, but rather upgrades from, for example, a small, 800-foot apartment to a 1,500 square-foot home. At the same time, a desire for multigenerational space could also spur the desire for larger homes. [Realtor.com] 

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A design trend called Cottagecore is here. According to Google trends, Cottagcore is happening. What does that mean? Think the opposite of minimalism, represented by a style that’s “reminiscent of something you’d see in a fairytale cottage.” Searches for the design trend are up significantly from January alone, possibly due to its soothing aesthetic. [The Zoe Report] 

Consumers are still optimistic about homebuying. The strong rebound in homebuying has shown consumers are back in the real estate market. According to consumer preference survey from realtor.com, 55 percent of respondents said they were more optimistic about buying a home despite the pandemic. The survey also found stay-at-home orders helped them to save more money for a down payment. [Realtor.com] 

Accessory dwelling units have risen in popularity. A new Freddie Mac study found that there are 1.4 million properties across the U.S. with ADUs. First-time listings with ADUs increased the most in the last decade, particularly in the South and West regions of the country. ADUs, also known as in-law suites and granny flats, have been trending for their use not only as multigenerational spaces but for their possibilities as home offices. [Eye on Housing] 

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