Potential buyers entering the market in 2021 will have an updated wish list. After almost a year of spending more time at home, the priorities and top amenities in demand for homeowners have shifted. Amenities that focus on space, health, and general well being, outdoor areas, and technology are expected to be in high demand for buyers.
Developers are listening and plan to meet these requests. New construction and development are looking to stay robust throughout the year. According to Dodge Data and Analytics, a 5 percent increase for residential starts is expected. Senior economist Robert Dietz, of the National Home Builders (NAHB), also expects to see slight gains for single-family construction. Builder confidence climbed to record highs for three consecutive months towards the end of 2020. In December, it dropped to 86 from the previous 90 in November, still making it the second-highest number in history with a strong outlook for 2021. New home sales may slow while builders catch up, but potential buyers will be eager for new inventory with new, and necessary, features.
Here are the most popular amenities expected to surge this year.
Home Office and “Zoom Rooms”
With the majority of employed Americans unable to return to their work office, and remote work becoming more sought-after, office spaces have become the number one priority in a home. Many have already created a workspace while others are preparing for long-term remote working environments. With multiple people working from home, it became apparent that a functioning working area was required.
The pandemic has also brought on the trend of “Zoom Rooms”. These rooms may be a bit different than a typical office. It’s defined as a ‘picture perfect’ corner of the house that can provide a solid background for attendees signing on to virtual meetings. Students need to focus during their virtual schooling, while parents need productivity, privacy, and limited interruption during virtual work meetings. According to an Inman article, Zoom has developed a package that provides uses with a professional, high-quality camera, bright lighting, a noise-canceling microphone, and quality speakers. While not everyone is in need, having a quiet space without distractions for the homeowner or the other Zoom attendees quickly became essential.
To have a dedicated area that is for work and video meetings is most likely to stick around in 2021.
Extra Living Areas and Closed Floor plans
Following the trend of rooms for Zoom, comes more room for…everything else! The quarantine and stay-at-home days showed the world that a home was more than just a house. The home functioned as a variety of elements: the bedroom, the gym, the restaurant, the entertainment, the office, and the school. As employees began to work remotely full-time, the availability to work from anywhere became more common. People migrated from congested metro areas to a more the suburbs for a more fitting, affordable home that could suit the whole family.
Unemployment compelled many young professionals to move back home with their parents. Generations United reported, “Multi-generational households reached an all-time high as Millennials and Gen Zer’s took their belongings and left their rentals.” With more people at home, families started to reimagine the usage of space in their house.
Builders notice that the open floor plan – a popular architectural trend since the 1990s – is now less appealing. The design for large common areas lacking privacy and even noise control became non-functional. The ability to close a door and have “peace and quiet” became necessary in today’s domestic lifestyle.
Homes with extra bedrooms, loft or office areas, finished basements, and additional bathrooms are to be included in new construction this year.
State requirements for stay-at-home orders make outdoor space even more important. Homeowners and families got creative with renovations in making at-home entertainment more accessible. Yards and patios became an additional dining room or the main play area for kids. Adding outdoor kitchen appliances and grills became popular as people started cooked more often.
Online home search platforms like Houzz saw almost three times the search activity for entertainment elements like fire pits, pools, outdoor kitchens, and resort-like features. Zillow reported that buyers were also willing to pay almost five percent over the asking price to secure their new amenity-filled home.
Without the luxury of having a private, outdoor area because of living in the city or a rental, people can feel confined. The need for fresh air, sun, and a change in the environment without leaving your home is pertinent, not to mention critical for ones overall well-being and health.
Tech and Touch-Less Features
Technology has been an ever-evolving attraction in modern homes. Smart home devices for lighting, heating, and cooling, and security can be expected these days. Now, families have become more cautious about spreading germs. Homeowners are adding features that can help fight off and avoid viruses and bacteria. Jamie Gold, a Wellness Design Consultant, introduced the following point back when the pandemic first hit: “When this pandemic has passed, many homeowners will be considering how well their residence served them during this period. What could have been better, easier, lower maintenance, and less nerve-jangling? One of the changes likely to be pondered is implementing touch-free surfaces.”
Products such as touch-less faucets and soap dispensers, motion-activated refrigerators, kitchen cabinets and drawers, voice-controlled lights, heating, and entertainment amenities are all ways to create a more efficient, convenient, and health-conscious home.
Moving into the New Year, buyers and homeowners will focus on their overall quality of life. Avoiding the spread of a virus is now routine, but preventative health has also become a priority. Consumer items like UV Lighting, purified air filtration, and aromatherapy enhance the living experience while providing a healthier way of life starting at home. Leonard Steinberg, chief evangelist and broker at Compass, shares: “I do think anything related to health is a long-term trend. The luxury consumer has a great appreciation for luxury that isn’t just cosmetics and fluff. They’re looking for substance and authenticity, and health is the ultimate substance and authenticity.”
With large gyms and fitness studios closed, working out at home has become all the rage. Even gyms that are staying open under certain restrictions, their members feel more comfortable working out in the security of their own home. Companies like Peloton and Mirror have boomed. Online-streaming services have catered to the fitness community. Homeowners have repurposed guest bedrooms, garages, and yards into personal home gyms. The convenience to work out on-demand without leaving the house is a motivating factor for people to continue working out at home.
Before 2020 a lot of these in-demand amenities were considered luxurious. Today, health-centered, safe, and spacious amenities are definite. With a newfound idea for home, creating a comforting and diverse atmosphere for everyone is essential. Trends and new features will come and go, but the value in a home is forever. Reach out today. We can help you find a home that fits you and your wish list.
This article is intended to be accurate, but the information is not guaranteed. Please reach out to us directly if you have any specific real estate or mortgage questions or would like help from a local professional. The article was written by Sparkling Marketing, Inc. with information from resources like Zillow, Forbes, Mansion Global.