If the Boston real estate market were a human, it would be familiar with experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. Over the past several months, there have been significant ups and devastating downs. It’s an industry that ebbs and flows depending on a host of market dynamics. The 2008 financial collapse was tough, but one thing the housing market has never had to navigate before is a worldwide pandemic. Despite the coronavirus’s negative impact, the housing market generally rode a wave of positivity through the balance of 2020, fueled by strong demand and historically low interest rates.
One thing the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine period has done is reinforce the value of the home. The additional time most families are spending together has caused Americans to take a much-needed inventory of things that matter most. The result of this introspection is sparking a new set of demands that are reshaping the housing market. As outlined in PwC and Urban Land Institute’s “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report, prospective homeowners’ general requirements are rising in terms of finding a fully functioning home that accounts for space to live, work and play.
When weeks of quarantine and social distancing turned into multiple months, the weight of the situation caused many to re-evaluate their living conditions and think more long-term. Large numbers turned to the internet to view properties that could more appropriately accommodate their family’s needs, which became more glaring with every week spent in isolation.
New construction has had a sort of magnetic effect on select buyers looking to trade their cramped quarters. A brand new home comes with many alluring features, one of which is the fact that no one has ever lived there before. It’s quite literally a breath of fresh air. This interest in newly constructed homes is sparking a new set of baseline requirements that builders must take into account.
Cash is still king. According to Realtor®.com reporting, 36 percent of home sales across the nation were cash sales last year which is about a 3% increase from 2019.
Remote workers are moving further away from work. Like 50 miles away. I have been watching this trend for a year. It will be interesting to see how it all works out when people change jobs or when employers decide they want to open offices again.
There is also a trend of using tiny houses as offices in the Boston Suburbs. A tiny house may have 100 to 500 square feet of living space. My own office is about the size of a small tiny house with 144 square feet of space. Personally, I like the idea of using a tiny house as a man cave.
Accessory dwelling Units or ADU’s as they are called are allowed in Boston and they would make great offices assuming they can be adequately heated and A/C
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