As people rethink their home’s functionality after spending more time in them, features they never knew we needed – such as a home gym or no-touch appliances – seem more important than ever.
Driven by this new COVID era, Zillow has compiled its top 10 home trends for 2021 that will not only add comfort, but might even add extra value to a home.
‘Zoom Rooms’: A Zillow survey found a desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons why Americans working from home say they would consider a move, if they were to continue working remotely at least occasionally.
In 2021, people will receive more clarity from their employers about the ability to telecommute moving forward, which could trigger a move to a home with more space. And as people tire of working from a kitchen table, they will be wanting a more permanent – and quiet – solution for their at-home desk.
‘Homecation’ Amenities: With lots of time and nowhere to go, homeowners are coming up with creative solutions to create vacation-vibes right at home.
“Pool” was the top Zillow keyword search term in 2020. “Waterfront” and “dock” also landed in the top ten.
Additionally, homeowners may be looking for big and small ways to create a luxury experience at home, from upgrading to a spa-like bathtub or relaxing rain shower. Zillow research shows home buyers paid more for amenities that make their home feel like a retreat.
The rise of remote work will allow more homeowners to turn their favorite vacation destination into their hometown. Page views of for-sale listings in areas typically considered vacation destinations – such as Key West, the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod – are up nearly 50 percent compared to last year.
Intergenerational Living: Intergenerational living will rise in popularity as young adults and grandparents alike find themselves moving in with family for financial and health reasons.
According to Generations United, about one in six Americans currently live in multigenerational households, and this year, the share of young people moving back home reached all-time highs as more Millennials and Gen Z’ers than ever – particularly renters – found themselves packing their bags and moving back in with their parents.
Katie Detwiler, Chief Experience Officer at Berks Homes says this trend is manifesting in how people are designing new construction homes, with more requests than ever before for a finished basement with a full bathroom, and bedroom additions.
Gourmet Kitchens: This year inspired people to break out of their old baking habits and start new hobbies in the kitchen, and in 2021 homeowners will want to level-up from their sourdough obsession to create other culinary masterpieces.
A previous Zillow survey found 41 percent of people value a well-equipped kitchen more than before as a result of social distancing recommendations – and more people will want the space to show off their new culinary skills in the next year.
“We’ve seen an increase in requests for gourmet kitchens,” Detwiler said. “This includes bigger cabinets and island additions so homeowners have the space they need to cook their gourmet meals.”
Backyard Oasis: A yard that is safe and functional has taken on renewed importance – a Zillow survey from the Harris Poll found that 41 percent of people say they value a large outdoor space more as a result of social distancing recommendations.
There are many easy upgrades to make a backyard a relaxing oasis the whole family can enjoy, and in tandem, increase the resale value of your home. Zillow research finds homes mentioning “firepit” in the listing sold for 2.8 percent more than similar homes, and “outdoor kitchen” sold for 4.5 percent more.
“Smart” sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting are other features that add a contemporary flare to a backyard that also help your home sell up to 15 days faster than expected.
Smart and Safe Tech: While a lot of “smart”-technology products are “niche” right now, they will evolve to become the standard in home design as homeowners increasingly seek out creative solutions to keep their spaces as germ-free and chic as possible.
“Tech-driven appliances, solid surfaces and ‘smart’ fixtures have come to the rescue,” says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow home design expert and founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. “Features like voice-activated faucets, robotic vacuums and electronic-assistant controlled lights have updated the traditional tasks of cooking and cleaning by incorporating thoughtful innovation into home products.”
A Zillow analysis found that listings mentioning a smart light in their listing description sold seven days faster than expected, and listings mentioning a smart thermostat sold six days faster than expected.
Small-City Living: Increased opportunity for remote work has pushed many home shoppers to reconsider how and where they want to live.
Since there is less need to be close to urban job centers, shoppers in 2021 may opt for wide open spaces and smaller, more affordable communities. This trend is already playing out in search traffic data.
Small cities, such as Borger, Texas, Pierre, S.D. and Vernal, Utah, accounted for the greatest year-over-year growth in out-of-town search traffic, and a dozen markets such as Pierre, SD, Jackson, WY and Hudson, NY saw out-of-town search traffic double this year.
Newly pending sales for small cities (population between 54,000 and 137,000) is up 34.3 percent since last year, and have seen positive year-over-year pending sales since July.
Small city living will only continue to rise as telework becomes more permanent and open up homeownership opportunities for renters.
Health and Wellness at Home: People across the country quickly adapted to rapidly changing restrictions, creating fitness clubs or wellness spaces in their homes.
In November, 4.1 percent of for-sale listings on Zillow mentioned health and wellness areas in the home. But it’s not just physical health homeowners are prioritizing. The isolation from social activities and loved ones will increase the need for more-private “feng shui” areas – spaces for reflection and meditation to stay mentally fit, as well.
Home-builders have seen floor plans adding an extra bedroom over a garage or in their basement increase this year. These additional private spaces may start to become meditation rooms, or a quiet room to escape the chaos of life.
Pet-Friendly Living: The flexibility of remote work gave many people the opportunity to be home all day, and in turn, made it easier to add a new best friend to their family.
According to a Nielsen survey, 20 percent of respondents in July said they adopted one or more dogs or cats between March and June, up from less than 5 percent over the same time last year.
An increase in furry friends joining families means “pet-friendly” rentals are on the rise, as landlords entice renters with added benefits. Zillow research found that 73.1 percent of rental listings allow pets.
As people welcome more furry family members, Zillow expects they will be looking for pet-friendly features in their next home. A 2020 Zillow analysis found for-sale listings mentioning a pet shower or dog wash in their listing description sold for 5.1 percent more than similar homes, while listings mentioning a fenced backyard in their listing description sold 6.8 days faster than expected.
Rise in Demand for New Construction: Traffic for new construction homes has increased significantly on Zillow, up 82 percent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter a year ago, signaling an increasing number of shoppers interested in personalizing their home’s features and living in a new, clean space.
A 2020 Zillow survey found more than a quarter of buyers who bought a new construction home did so to customize home features, while 37 percent chose new construction because everything in the home was new and never used.
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