Despite everything that has happened in 2020 — the pandemic, protests, presidential election, debt, and mass rural migration — the 2021 general outlook on real estate is promising. The market has remained incredibly resilient, which leads to a few interesting trends in the year ahead.
Here are the top 6 home trends that we have identified as game-changers for 2021.
1. Home Prices May Continue Rising
It has been a bit of a paradox that, even with the economic recession, median home prices in the US surpassed $300,000 during the pandemic for the first time and sales rose 8.7% year over year. This is a solid indicator of the increased demand for houses, especially in rural areas as people sought to escape the crowded cities.
In fact, housing prices and rent have been increasing steadily for over a decade, partly because of government efforts to incentivize homeownership through access to low-interest loans and mortgages. Where previous economic recessions caused slumps, the coronavirus pandemic has proved quite different.
The year 2021 is expected to be a recovery period for many families. With vaccines on the horizon and countries such as the UK already rolling them out, people are expecting to get their jobs and finances back in order.
Government incentives to the market will ebb in 2021, which has fostered fears that the market will crash instead. However, we believe that the increasing demand and reduced home listings will continue to drive soaring home prices.
2. Demand for Affordable Housing Driving People to the Suburbs and Smaller Cities
Urban dwellers in crowded cities have been fleeing to the more spacious, affordable suburbs for some time now. Thanks to teleworking opportunities, they no longer feel the need to commute to work daily. Instead, even households without kids are preferring the open, healthy suburbia to crowded and expensive city spaces.
The PwC real estate report highlights this exodus, driven especially by millennials. These young people covering the 30-49 age group are now having families of their own and looking for better spaces to live in. We already know that millennials don’t mind working from home or even taking pay cuts if it means a better quality of life.
With these factors in mind, it isn’t surprising that suburbs will account for more than 80% of the household growth rate over this decade.
3. The Need for More Customized Space: Extra Bedrooms, Home Offices, and the Outdoors
The functions of a home have now changed from a mere living space to include work, social life, meeting places, and education. Home offices and extra bedrooms are finding extra attention as people consider working from home past the pandemic.
Additionally, cross-generational living is on a sharp rise. That means parents, grandparents, and kids are all moving in together for family and financial reasons, which is also driving a need for more space.
With the improved family life has come a need for more variety of home features. Backyards and gardens are being transformed with decks, patios, and pergolas to create a more fulfilling home space.
For those looking to sell their home during the holidays and through 2021, it will be important to keep this in mind. Fences for privacy, pools for recreation, home gyms, yoga spaces, and even spas are all appearing in home staging to meet changing customer needs. By upgrading your home with such amenities, you will sell more quickly and get a better deal.
4. Virtual Real Estate
The use of technology in real estate has risen sharply since the coronavirus lockdown measures. For one, virtual home tours through streaming services like Zoom have become very popular during the pandemic.
Virtual real estate is the next natural step after online listings and mobile closings, especially since we already have the technology needed for virtual documentation and legal signing.
However, virtual home tours have become much more popular in both online listings and agent-led house viewings. This trend is being driven by an increasing willingness of home-bound house buyers to transact without actually visiting the property.
Even after the pandemic is over and normal freedom of movement resumes, we will see an upsurge in the use of hi-tech technology such as 3D scanning to create interactive presentations of homes for prospective clients. Research suggests that up to 50% of people online rely on virtual tours in their research process, and more are expected to follow suit.
5. A Need for Better Kitchens
More than ever before, kitchens are becoming a focal point for families. During the lockdown, many people rediscovered a love for cooking and various culinary hobbies than ever before. Existing families are investing more in their kitchen with upgrades, remodels, and appliances markets surging.
Specific kitchen trends that customers will be looking for include:
- Storage — the need for improved and long-term food storage has come to the fore during the pandemic. People want bigger kitchens with pantries, bigger cold storage, and so on
- Layered and closed kitchen plans are taking back popularity from the more contemporary open plan kitchen/dining room experience
- Minimalist but high-quality kitchen appliances are on the uptick as people take pride in wholesome cooking habits such as baking
6. Warm Design Palettes to Create Cozy Spaces
Another breakthrough trend that began in 2020 and is expected to thrive in 2021 is the increasing need to cozy up the home. Due to the shelter-in-place guidelines, many families turned to the use of warm, fuzzy colors to create a more welcoming space in their homes.
Contemporary and clinical looks are now giving way to cozy vibes. Similarly, window treatments, wall hangings, wallpaper, carpets, and furniture are all being chosen for comfort, warm texture, and distinct “homey” vibes. Warm wood colors are especially getting popular together with soft textiles.
Additionally, outdoor firepits and outdoor heaters are becoming a very common fixture in backyards and patios this winter season. This all in an effort to make the home cozier while maximizing its recreational value.
Weidel Real Estate for 2021 and Beyond
At Weidel Real Estate, we continue to hold onto our century-old traditions of loyalty, trust, respect, and an unwavering commitment to quality service tailored to suit your unique needs.
That’s why we have been working tirelessly to monitor these changes in user preferences to make sure that we can meet your needs adequately in 2021 and beyond.
Visit Weidel Real Estate today to browse our various communities or explore listings to find the perfect home for rent, sale, or investment, and let us walk with you every step of the way.