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How Has the Pandemic Shifted Buyer Preferences?

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Coronavirus Resources and Information

How Has the Pandemic Shifted Buyer Preferences?


March 17, 2021
Person searching homes on laptop
Photo: Andrey Popov

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want 2021 study found 25% of prospective buyers acknowledge that their housing preferences have changed due to the pandemic. The remaining share of buyers either reported the pandemic has not made an impact on housing preferences (67%) or they are unsure (8%). Diving further, NAHB discovered the share of buyers who report the pandemic has affected their preferences are much more likely to have at least one teleworker or virtual student in their home. When it comes to home size, the majority of prospective buyers said their preferred home size has remained unchanged.

When asked more specifically how the pandemic may have impacted their preference for home size, a majority of home buyers –67%– report no change on that at all. Yet a segment of buyers, 21% or about 1 out of every 5 buyers, do want a larger home now as a direct result of the health crisis, while another segment –12%– would prefer a smaller one instead.

Once again, the presence of teleworkers and virtual students in the home makes a big difference. Among buyers with neither, 10% want a larger home as a result of COVID-19, compared to 35% among buyers where there is at least one teleworker and one virtual student in the home.

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