It is no secret that COVID-19 has changed the way that a lot of us operate over the past few months. In some cases, these changes in behaviors have had drastic impacts on entire industries, such as how earlier shutdowns and preference changes continue to impact the restaurant sector. In real estate, these shifts have not been quite as devastating. Aaron Peterson of Seattle notes that markets such as those in the greater-Seattle area have largely remained strong in the face of the crisis. This is not to say that there have not been a few observable changes having an impact current, however. As a real estate expert with a vested interest in understanding the ebb and flow of the demand and consumer behavior, Aaron Peterson examines the meaning of some of these changes.
One change, noted by experts, is a shift in the desires of individuals searching for homes. Aaron Peterson recognizes that there has been an uptick in searches for homes under 1,000 square feet. Some surmise that this is because apartment dwellers are beginning to make the switch to stand alone homes because of feeling crowded in their current space. Homes that seem to be winning out are ones that have more isolated living areas. This serves as a contrast to searches prior to the pandemic, as the open floorplan concept in homes was in high demand amongst individuals in the market for purchasing a house. Real estate researchers at Point2 acknowledge that this shift has most likely occurred because people are beginning to see the value in more isolated layouts with more of the family at home for work, school, and entertainment purposes. With how the Seattle housing market is doing currently, Aaron Peterson believes it is unlikely that this will lead to open concept houses not being sold quickly. It does, however, certainly expand the idea of what housing features are considered preferable.
The price points of those searching for housing in Seattle is also increasing, Aaron Peterson notes that 29% of searches are in the range of between $500,000 and $750,000 as opposed to 15% prior to the health crisis. There are several possible reasons for the shifts. For example, some are simply increasing the scope of price in terms of a potential home to meet the rise in housing prices. The range of what can be considered a suburb of major cities is increasing, driving prices up in areas that are further out from where prospective buyers may have preferred before the pandemic. Many companies note that remote work may be here to stay for some employed within the Seattle area, and even those that may eventually work one or two days in the office are realizing a commute may increase what they can get out of a house. As a result of these shifts in consumer behaviors, real estate is getting competitive in several counties across Washington.