Homebuyer Buzz: Condos Have a Moment, While New Floorplans Attract Buyers

October 5, 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.   

Condos are making a comeback, especially in Florida, while more buyers are appreciating post-COVID floorplans. Meanwhile, homebuyers are being drawn to more affordable areas in the South and Midwest and are showing concern for natural disasters — particularly the younger generations of homebuyers. Also in this Buzz, we look at how Facebook is still highly beneficial as a lead-generating tech tool for Realtors.  

Are condos the hottest thing in real estate? 

In these markets, condos are backWith inventory still low, though improving, many buyers are turning to condominiums and townhouses. Nationwide, there were twice as many condos sold in May 2021 as in May 2020, and the hottest markets appear to be in Florida and the West. Destin, Panama City and Naples, Florida, top the list with Park City, Utah, coming in at number four and Las Vegas, Nevada, making number eight. [Realtor.com] 

Interest in relocation dips slightly 

Redfin.com users show slightly less interest in moving to a different metroRedfin.com users who were looking to relocate to a different metro went down to about 30% in July and August from 31% in the second quarter. It’s also down from the peak of 32% seen at the start of the year. The pandemic set off a relocation boom, but migration cooled this summer as life returned to a certain degree of normalcy. The dip in migration matches the slowdown in the broader housing market. [Redfin] 

Changing floorplans 

Buyers say post-COVID floorplans are more desirable. Floorplans that were developed as a result of the pandemic are more attractive to buyers than older floorplans, according to a CNBC news segment. Buyers say builders are doing a good job of laying out space in a more thoughtful way than what was done in the past, suggesting homes built post-COVID are a better reflection of what people want — particularly in a time when existing inventory is still low. [CNBC] 

Some buyers want more bedroomsThe share of single-family homes with four or more bedrooms increased in 2020, jumping from 42.6% in 2019 to 45.2% in 2020. The data indicates that successful buyers, who could afford and find a home, were looking for more space following the pandemic. First-time buyers, who were likely looking for two bedrooms or less, were more likely to be priced out of the market and have a lowered presence in 2020. [Eye On Housing] 

Meanwhile, two-story foyers made a little rebound. The share of two-story foyers increased from 27% to 29% from 2019 to 2020. Though it’s largely been an unwanted feature since 2012, the 2020 increase could again be associated with the pandemic as tall foyers give the idea of more open space. The share increased in five of the nine regional divisions and showed the highest shares in the South Atlantic and the East South-Central regions. [Eye On Housing] 

Cheap areas draw buyers, while natural disasters cause concern 

Homebuyers are being drawn to the Midwest and the SouthPending home sales rose 8% across the U.S. from July to August, with experts saying the more moderately priced regions of the South and Midwest are experiencing “stronger signing of contracts to buy, which is not surprising.” Some of the interest can be attributed to employees who have more flexibility where they work. The trend is also reflected in Realtor.com’s latest hot housing markets report. [HousingWire]

Survey shows homeowners are concerned about natural disastersA Realtor.com survey found that more than half of respondents considered natural disasters when choosing their home location. Young homeowners were particularly likely to take disasters into account. Floods, tornadoes and winter storms topped the list of the most concerning natural disasters. Recent buyers, millennials, Gen Xers and city dwellers were more likely to be concerned. [Realtor.com]  

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Green features important to renters 

Apartment renters indicate green features are importantAn AMLI Residential survey found that 47% of respondents said green features played a role in deciding where they wanted to rent. According to MHN, developers are taking note and incorporating more smart tech and green amenities into their projects. [MHN] 

The latest in design trends 

Expect more mustard yellow this fallThe eight hottest design trends, according to Realtor.com, continue to include nature-inspired motifs, mustard yellow and “romantic vibes,” which seems to indicate floral wallpaper, soft color palettes and a touch of maximalism. Also making the list: black matte (for cabinets or finishes for instance), white oak finishes and color everywhere. [Realtor.com] 

Realtors getting the most out of Facebook 

Realtors say Facebook is their top lead-generating tech toolAccording to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, more than half of Realtors said social media was their top lead-generating tool, with Facebook topping the list at 90% of respondents saying they used the app. Instagram followed with 52% of respondents saying they use the app, and 48% said they used LinkedIn. Interestingly, despite drumming up business, 54% of respondents said they were on social media because they felt like they needed to be. [HousingWire] 

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