What do home buyers really want? See how the pandemic has changed buyer preferences.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many of us look at our living spaces. Whether you’re a builder, a developer or a Realtor, it’s essential to know what home buyers are looking for in a new home.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released its 2021 edition of What Home Buyers Really Want, surveying 3,247 prospective buyers in the summer of 2020. Respondents were carefully selected to represent the actual population of homeowners in the U.S.

The majority of homebuyers in the study (67%) reported that the health crisis has not impacted their preferences for what they want in a home. In comparison, 25% of respondents said the coronavirus pandemic has affected their preferences.

Of the households with residents who had to telecommute for work or school, 43% said the pandemic had changed their housing preferences. On the other hand, only 9% of respondents with neither teleworkers nor students who had to learn remotely said their preferences had changed.

About one in every five buyers (21%) expressed the desire for larger homes, while 12% would prefer smaller spaces. The remaining 67% desired no change in housing size.

The number of people wanting to move to the suburbs also increased due to the pandemic, with the share of buyers preferring their next home to be in an outlying suburb rising from 26% to 30%.

As we reported earlier this month, Generation X has expressed increasing interest in home gyms or exercise rooms. Out of over 200 features mentioned in the survey, the topmost wanted features included a laundry room and exterior lighting, with 87% of respondents stating they found these two features either essential or desirable.

The other most-desired features include ceiling fans, a patio, a double kitchen sink, a walk-in pantry, a front porch, hardwood floors in the main level living area, a full bath on the main level and energy-efficient windows, appliances and lighting.

The least-wanted features on the list include an elevator, pet washing station, wine cellar, in-law suite, daycare center and other features that buyers don’t see themselves needing.

Click here to read the full report.

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