The retail industry took a serious hit with the coronavirus pandemic that saw people all over the country under shelter-in-place orders. With people feeling uncomfortable leaving the safety of their homes for grocery shopping, who would consider buying a new house? While people in the real estate industry are confident business will pick up in the coming months but wonder what will be the long-lasting effects of the pandemic. In other words, how might COVID-19 change home ownership trends?
Multi-Generational Houses are a Growing Trend
People in assisted-living facilities were one of the hardest-hit communities, as the virus spread like fire among senior citizens living there. These cases have been shocking and realtors expect a growing demand for larger homes so that three generations can live under the same roof.
There’s already a growing demand for accessory dwelling units or ADUs. Instead of moving into an assisted-living center, the elderly can comfortably live in an ADU, a smaller housing unit, with its own kitchen and bathroom, on the same plot of land where their children have their house. It’s a compromise solution, as senior citizens can maintain their independence while having their children and grandchildren close enough to provide them assistance, if needed.
People are Going to Change Houses Less
Before the pandemic, people spent an average of 13.3 years in the same house, but many realtors expect this number is going to change now. One of the main reasons people change houses is relocating to another city to take a new job.
As the coronavirus pandemic saw many companies shifting towards remote work, working from home is going to be a major trend in the years to come, as both employers and employees discovered many benefits. That means fewer people will move physical locations for jobs as they can virtually work from their house, wherever it is located.
Even when the pandemic dies down many will prefer to work from home as there are fewer costs and more freedom. For the real estate business, this means less people are going to relocate to another city and look for a new house.
The Suburbs Life
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, people were abandoning large cities on both coasts of the US, mainly because of the outrageous costs of life as compared to inner cities or the suburbs. With the shift toward working remotely many people are now free to abandon their expensive high-rise condos and buy a real house in a cheaper area.
Considering recent events, an individual housing unit appears safer as you’re not forced to live in close proximity to hundreds of potential virus spreaders. A house in a rural area is cheaper, and you can buy one large enough to set up a nice home office.
Investing in a Second Home
The COVID-19 pandemic brought all kinds of travel to a standstill and several months since the crisis first began, Americans find themselves in the unusual situation of being denied international travel. Not that many were willing to do so at the moment. For the next few years, realtors expect people to be more interested in buying a holiday home where they can spend their vacation safely.
Virtual House Tours
Real estate agents were very quick to adapt to the new situation. When it became impossible for them to show a house to a potential buyer in person, realtors came up with a solution. Virtual tours allow clients to view a house without having to travel and expose themselves or the sellers to the virus. Technology is going to play an important part in the future of the real estate industry as it allows people to select the houses that really interest them and only then schedule an in-person visit.
Even in these uncertain times, real estate experts are not worried about the future of their industry. Pandemic or not, people will still need homes!