The Covid-19 induced social distancing has bolstered remote working also called work from home culture. Now the trend is snowballing into a housing boom in American suburbs.
According to reports three-quarters of Americans are now working from home because of the Coronavirus pandemic spread warranting social distancing.
Industry experts suggest that the driving force behind the boom in the making is not the revulsion to live in dense cities but a paradigm shift towards integrating a workplace to the home and ensuring it is spacious.
The trends have been commented upon by major online real-estate companies Zillow and Redfin. Reports add that the home buying spree triggered by the new remote working culture will be empowering renters in big cities like New York City and San Francisco as they plan to become homeowners.
Big city Vs suburbs
Those searching homes, mainly professionals want homes with ample space to be a work station breaking the tradition of treating the home as a cool nest to huddle with family and enjoy the leisure.
The new trend was summed up by Bic DeCaro, a member of Zillow’s Agent Advisory Board serving Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. He said, “more buyers are looking to leave the city.”
Buyers once looking for walkability to the workplace, now want extra land as more square footage, he added compared to congested apartments in city centers.
The new buyers are seeking more space for a workplace within the cozy environs of home. Also, they no longer wanted to be in the busy part of the city or soak into the pleasures. The demand is soaring for homes in suburbs and outer suburbs.
Buyers’ mood on home shopping indeed shifted in the wake of the pandemic, Realtor.com has noted. Danielle Hale, realtor.com chief economist told Forbes media that people are recognizing space as more important and want affordable areas where they can gain more space at the same price in the core city.
Zillow says more Americans are looking at their housing options. It said the for-sale listings page views in mid-April jumped 18 percent compared to 2019.
A Zillow analysis also gave the rationale of scouting for suburban homes. It said many current households have a spare bedroom good enough to convert as an office.
However, expensive metros such as New York, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego do not have such homes.
In the past decade, real estate rode on the value of urban centers based on jobs and easy access to public transportation.
Work from home to expand
In a study, the Pew Research Center noted that before COVID-19, only 7 percent of civilian workers had the option to work from home as a workplace benefit.
Now, post-COVID-19, almost 40 percent of workers can potentially perform remotely. Companies like Twitter have said working remotely will be made a permanent option.
As remote work becomes an entrenched norm without compromising the productivity, spacious homes in suburbs and suburban communities will usher in secondary cities with amenities similar to big cities offering more space and larger lots, observed Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s principal economist.