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Homebuyer Buzz: More on Millennials and the Prized Laundry Room

March 2, 2021

Homebuyer Buzz More on Millennials and the Prized Laundry Room

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 this Buzz, we look at how millennials are not only driving U.S. home sales, they’re also not eschewing cities in their home searches despite the pandemicIn design news, checkered patterns are likely to take over Instagram, but what we really care about is what homebuyers want, and that continues to be... laundry rooms!  

Let’s talk millennials 

Numbers are in: millennials are driving U.S. home salesFirst-time homebuyers accounted for 33 percent of home sales in January, which is up from December 2020 (at 31 percent) and January 2020 (32 percent). It’s expected that younger homebuyers will continue to drive the market, particularly if President Biden’s $15,000 tax credit for first timers passes. The spring market should also help. [HousingWire] 

Meanwhile, millennials are also migrating to citiesOpendoor’s latest National Real Estate and Consumer Trend Report indicates that millennials are still moving to cities despite the pandemic. In fact, more than a third of those surveyed said they’re still planning to move to big cities. Millennials are also making much smaller down payments than the typical 20 percent, with half of respondents planning to put down 15 percent or less. [Bankrate] 

This custom builder is taking care of curation 

Seattle-based JayMarc Homes is addressing custom buyer pitfalls. To help homebuyers navigate the myriad decisions that arise when building a custom homeJayMarc Homes has created its new JayMarc Curated collection. The collection includes a library of six floor plans and three exterior options and is designed to save custom home buyers time by simplifying the building process. [Builder] 

Are checkers the next big thing? 

The next big home décor trend is the checkered patternWho knew, but checkered objects are likely to make a big appearance in any stylish home this year. Why? “It’s simultaneously quirky, fresh, and versatile,” according to Who What Wear’s Market Editor Indya Brown. From sheets to accent pillows and rugs, the popularity of the pattern is slowly making its way through Instagram. [Who What Wear] 

Bold wallpaper and porcelain are design trends gaining in popularity over millennial pink. Interior designers interviewed by Insider are in agreement that millennial pink, open shelving and subway tile are on their way out, among other trends. Meanwhile, black kitchens, porcelain countertops, bold wallpaper and earth and ocean-inspired tones are making their way in. [Insider] 

But really, it’s all about laundry rooms 

Home buyers still love laundry rooms and ceiling fans. The National Association of Home Builders is preparing to release their latest edition of What Home Buyers Really Want and, unsurprisingly, laundry rooms continue to top the list. Unsurprising, because laundry space and the larger issue of storage has made buyer preference lists all 2020 and the pandemic likely only emphasized those wants. Also popular are ceiling fans, exterior lighting, patios and walk-in pantries. [NAHB Now] 

Don’t underestimate online leads 

More than half of new home sales came from online leadsHomebuyers are going online to shop for homes more than ever, as 51 percent of total home builder sales originated as an online lead in 2020, according to Do You Convert. That’s up 20 percent from 2018, and will likely continue to grow as more and more home shoppers expect robust online experiences as they look for new homes from the safety of their couches. [Livabl] 

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Bidding wars and the COVID vaccine 

Low inventory leads to “off the charts” bidding warsOver half of buyers faced bidding wars on their offers in January according to Redfin, which is up 52 percent from December. NAHB also reported that 40 percent of potential buyers haven’t bought a house yet because they keep getting outbid. That’s flipped from last year when 44 percent said prices were the biggest reason they hadn’t purchased, while 19 percent said they were getting outbid. Redfin’s chief economist suggested bidding wars will become more common as the spring season gets underway. [CNBC] 

Most homeowners say they'd be more comfortable moving post-vaccineA Zillow survey of U.S. homeowners found that 70 percent said they would be mostly or completely comfortable moving to a new home with the widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, about 52 percent said they feel comfortable moving to a new home. Nearly four-in-five homeowners who said the vaccine is impacting their decision to sell said they’d be more likely to move once it’s more widely spread. [Zillow] 

More Americans are looking to take advantage of remote workWe’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: flexible work-from-home policies are inspiring more Americans to move. According to market researcher The NPD Group, nearly 20 percent of people in the U.S. are working from home full time as of December, and 28 percent of people are considering relocating. Furthermore, 20 percent more consumers are planning to move in 2021 compared to last year. [CNBC]

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