COVID Trends in Real Estate
All of a sudden, space and distance matter more than ever. Online real estate searches are up 30% from a year ago, reflecting that people are reconsidering "home".
The nature of the searches is also shifting dramatically. After years of trending towards denser urban areas and smaller square footage, now the searches are tilting towards suburbia and homes with more space. Work-at-home spaces, home offices and even a nascent idea of "Zoom rooms," where it's easy to have an aesthetically good background for joining or leading meetings, has become relevant. Play-at-home outdoor spaces are also way up in relevance. We don't know what fall will bring for schoolkids. With more options or requirements for distance learning and home schooling, it's important for many folks to have a dedicated space for schoolwork, hopefully buffered from other professional workspace. Possibly as important as how much space is the quality of space. If people are now going to be home all day every day, they want to enjoy it.
Not everyone is adversely affected in the pandemic. Some people and industries are doing very well, and the 20% or so who are out of work will manage to find a way forward. Many in this group weren't buying or selling anyway, so their current headwinds may not impact the real estate outlook much if at all. Economically, it's a checkerboard landscape, depending on where you look. For the 80% who are working, it's a matter of staying healthy and forging ahead with life and that may mean a home move soon.
Here in Oregon, the market for starter and median range homes is still hot and looks to remain so. It's supported by robust in-migration (Oregon has been a top inbound state for several years) and household formation. We have more 25-34 year olds than during the postwar "baby boom", and this demographic wave is unstoppable. Like the economic landscape, the market is also a checkerboard. The supply and demand equation is one of extremely limited inventory and a growing number of buyers. The low-mid price ranges and suburbia are seeing upticks, while the upper end and dense urban areas are feeling a little pressure. Inventories are rising and marketing times are extending slightly. The new tax code, tigher jumbo lending standards, and constraints on the formerly-more-fun urban lifestyle are all drivers.
Mobility is increasing again. Working at home is a sea-change and allows people to elect where to live, including cross-country moves driven by cost of living and taxes. This trend was already afoot, and COVID has put it on steroids. Many workers and companies had dabbled with working a day or two at home, and with that now becoming the norm, there's a tremendous new flexibility and choice in where to live. With new mobility and record low, sub-3% mortgage rates, nobody is married to their current home. There's a lot of rethinking going on.
If you're giving thought to a change, and want a thoughtful consultation about your current or next home, we invite your call today.
Hasson Company Realtors
15400 SW Boones Ferry Road
Lake Oswego 97035