(By Gene Montemore with help from the staff at HomeLight)
The year 2020 was an anomaly in our lives and real estate was no exception. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in 2021 you may be wondering what you can expect. The experts at HomeLight interviewed top agents in its Q4 2020 survey to discover their insights into what the year ahead might bring. Here are seven key trends that are expected to take shape, pointing to what buyers and sellers are looking for in their next home.
Staycation second home
With remote working becoming the norm, and vacations at a halt, more than 80 percent of agents in the survey said that the purchase of second homes is on the rise. That might mean a warmer climate or better access to outdoor activities. Additionally, 41 percent of agents found homeowners even selling their primary residences to move to a vacation home full-time. The most appealing features for a second home according to real estate agents included warm weather, proximity to water, and low maintenance.
Cooking at home may be here to stay for a while and homeowners are showing that through a focus on kitchen upgrades. People are looking to increase their work spaces in the kitchen with extra counter space, more cabinet storage (as 57 percent of agents found), walk in pantries (62 percent reported), and smart appliances (33 percent).
The bathroom is another area of the home that is in overdrive mode this year with entire families working and studying remotely (at home). Creating more room is a factor, with upgrades like double sinks (65 percent of agents said), and adding extra storage for linens (29 percent reported). Giving the bathroom a designer touch is another appealing change that agents noted across the country.
The great outdoors
As homeowners get ready for spring and summer, they are rethinking their outdoor spaces as sanctuaries. Some people are going all out with a full outdoor kitchen, as 46 percent of agents found, and retractable awnings are also popular, as 34 percent shared. Fire pits are also on wish lists, to create lively spaces for family gatherings and entertaining.
With more time at home, upgrading for energy efficiency is a top trend to save money on utilities. According to 74 percent of survey respondents, homebuyers are looking for this feature in their next home. Some of the post popular options include LED or CFL lighting, solar panels, and ENERGY star appliances.
Remote work upgrades
Whether it’s in a second home or their primary home, homeowners are viewing their properties as a place for their offices too, at least for now. Agents reported that second rooms are being converted to home offices, either with a full remodel, or adding built in desks or shelving. However, they noted that this trend may be short lived as people eventually return to their workplaces as COVID-19 vaccines become available across the country.
If we learned anything from 2020, it was to expect the unexpected. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the future, staying aware of 2021 real estate trends can help you understand the market and achieve your real estate goals.