The 2020 Real Estate Consumer

December 9, 2020
2020 Real Estate Consumer

This year has brought a host of changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the housing market being affected in many ways. Though there was a pause in the market earlier this year, the market bounced back and has been performing strongly ever since. Consequently, the behavior of real estate consumers had to adapt, with the way people are buying and selling homes shifting to meet the current climate.

For many, this culminated in the sudden urgent need to buy homes closer to friends and family or to get out of crowded urban environments. The National Association of Realtor’s annual survey tracked the ways that consumer behavior changed and what trends popped up this year in response to the pandemic.

Real Estate Trends of 2020

Rise in purchases of multigenerational homes. Multigenerational homes are homes that can house more than one generation, such as parents and adult children or adults and their elderly parents. While this was seen in previous years, 2020 brought this trend to the forefront with 12% of homebuyers purchasing a multigenerational home to accommodate older adult relatives or college-aged children moving back home.

Resurgence in the McMansion. The desire for larger spaces for home offices or homeschooling was a prevalent request this year, leading to a rise in sales of bigger homes. Especially considering the need for social distancing and personal space, the increase in these large properties became more appealing.

High demand in the suburbs. There has been a rise in suburban home sales with 57% of buyers purchasing in suburban locations, compared to 50% of pre-pandemic buyers. With competition so high, many homes that come on the market get at least four offers, making buying a home more challenging.

Spending on second homes or remodeling. While a large number of Americans are saving money, some are diverting spending on their homes. With one-third of people remodeling their homes with the goal of selling it in the future. Many remodels are focused on areas that will reap a high return-on-investment, such as the kitchen, bathroom and outdoor spaces.

Rise in virtual tours. Though virtual tours were used prior to the pandemic, this year has seen a significant increase with 27% of sellers using virtual tours, compared to 16% pre-pandemic. Accordingly, one in 20 buyers purchased a home without ever seeing the property in person.

For those looking to buy or sell a home, Long & Foster Real Estate’s professionals can help you sell the home you have or find the home you need. Long & Foster can also help you with financing, settlement, insurance and more. Get started at