Homebuyer Buzz: Homebuyers Happy with Pandemic Home Purchases

June 1, 2021


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.   

If it bleeds, it leads, is how the saying goes, but a Realtor.com survey is cautioning against falling for negative headlines about widespread homebuyers' remorse. Instead, they found most buyers who purchased during the pandemic are satisfied with their decision. Meanwhile, we also check in on millennials once again and explore the connection between the housing and electronics market.  

Forget the headlines about pressured buyers  

Most homebuyers are happy with their pandemic home purchasesA recent realtor.com survey found that 71 percent of homeowners who purchased during the pandemic believe they made a good decision and 75 percent said their home was a good fit for them. Many expressed that they wish they had purchased sooner, while three-quarters said they had already been planning to buy before the pandemic. Approximately 1,000 people took part in the survey. [Realtor.com]  

Buyers crave community (and more are pushing back on pricing) 

Priorities for today’s homebuyers are highlighted in new report, with community top among them. The 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report from Bank of America found that homebuyers want to feel a sense of belonging in their neighborhoods. The finding is true across all generations, though younger generations believe it’s more important. Buyers also want more space and smart home technology—both desires ramped up by the coronavirus. [Constructech] 

More builders are reporting push back from buyersZonda’s latest builder survey is revealing that more homebuyers are pushing back against current new-home market conditions. In their survey, 40 percent of builders reported hesitancy from buyers as an operational challenge. [Builder] 

(Even) more on millennials 

The pandemic’s unexpected effect on millennials. While the pandemic accelerated homebuying for nearly half of millennial home shoppers, there were some notable challenges. Namely, according to a survey from Angi, a home improvement referral site, millennials spent a lot of time looking for homes, then had to make multiple offers among bidding wars, only to be pushed into older inventory. Many buyers also exceeded their budgets and had to navigate unexpected renovation needs. The survey found that 46 percent of respondents went over budget on reno work. [Realtor.com] 

One-third of millennial homebuyers plan to use extra pandemic savings to make a down payment. A recent Redfin survey found that 31 percent of millennial homebuyers are planning to use the extra money saved during the pandemic to help meet down payment. Though many industries were deeply impacted by the pandemic, millennials who were able to keep their jobs were able to save significantly on money typically spent on restricted travel and in-person activities. The survey also found that one-third of buyers are planning to buy sooner than expected, while another one-third are going to buy later than expected. [Redfin] 

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Gen Zers are renting 

Good Wi-Fi is non-negotiable for Gen ZersThe oldest members of Generation Z are 24, which means they’re ready to rent  and they want high-speed internet access. They also know their way around Google and look for reviews of each community they’re interested in, before viewing virtual tours. Also important: authenticity, including photos of actual apartments ready to rent and not simply the most glamorous spots. Gen Z will also pay for upgrades and appreciate sustainability. [MHN] 

Investors scooping up homes 

Almost 1-in-7 homes were purchased by investors in Q1Home purchases by investors rose in the first quarter of 2021 by 2.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. This marks the first period of growth since the pandemic began. Investors purchased about one of every seven homes in the country, which is up from one in 10 homes for the prior three quarters. Investors are able to make cash purchases and then rent out the homes to people priced out of the market. [HousingWire] 

Builders are seeing a need for aging-in-place design 

New kitchen and bathroom trends are reflecting the way people live today. Interior trends can be slow to change (despite the myriad trends articles), but one home builder is seeing some key styles emerge. In the kitchen, islands are a welcome inclusion, providing people a place to work while having more space for preparing meals at home. The drawers over doors” movement is also popular for cabinets, whereinstead of space overhead, cabinets are installed that provide wide and deep drawers for storing bulky items. Aging in place is also popular for bathroom design and can be seen in handheld shower heads and stylish seat and grab bars. [Business West] 

These five trends are defining 2021 home design2021 trends include large wooden surfaces — think countertops and flooring — boho gallery walls and warm-colored cabinetry. Bolder colors are also big, including jewel tones and warm paints. Trends on the way out? Neutral colors, open shelving and open-plan kitchens. [MSN] 

Housing market fueling electronics market 

Demand for TVs has gone up with the hot housing market. Best Buy has reported that the housing market is one of the key reasons the company had strong sales in its fiscal first quarter. As people move into new homes, they’re purchasing appliances and big-screen TVs to start fresh. Online sales and sales at stores open in the last 14 months have grown by 37.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago. [CNBC] 

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