Forget kitchen upgrades. What everyone desperately wants is a home office
The coronavirus pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our lives in one way or another. When it comes to housing, one survey has found that the top reason for moving over the second quarter was a need for more space.
Startup HomeLight surveys about 2,000 agents every quarter. Its latest results indicate that homebuyer housing preferences have most certainly shifted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The most desirable upgrades to homes in a post-COVID world are now home offices (17%) , less dense location (16%), single-family living (15%) and a private and spacious outdoor area (15%).
“Home offices will likely become more formal and outfitted to a comfortable working environment as remote jobs become a permanent fixture of society,” HomeLight’s report said.
Those who do invest in a building home office (at an average cost of about $12,119) can take comfort in knowing that, according to the survey, it also yields a significant ROI (return on investment) – an average $10,526 in added value – compared to some other house projects. In fact, a home office topped even a walk-in pantry, a patio, double ovens a privacy fence, and a fire pit in terms of average ROI.
Survey data also revealed that in the wake of the coronavirus, agents cited the need for more space (44%), a desire to buy vs. rent (41%), and moving to the suburbs (37%) as the top 3 reasons motivating people to move.
I hopped on the phone with HomeLight CEO Drew Uher, who also told me that one of the things that stood out in this report was the agents’ level of optimism.
“In our previous report there was a pretty heavy initial toll on the market, where optimism had declined from 76% to 56%,” he told HousingWire. “But that has reversed course now. In this last report, it was all the way back up to 82%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. That seems remarkable considering we’re dealing with a sizeable unemployment problem.”