Key Highlights

  • Pandemic-inspired shifts in amenity preferences for both homeowners and homebuyers
  • Zillow’s 2021 Home Trends Forecast indicates amenity preference lists are specific and comprehensive

Homeowners, buyers, and their families began living “new” lives in 2020, lives they had previously taken for granted, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and its various work and educational impacts, let alone its financial consequences. Almost immediately, many fortunate enough to do so “came home” for their meals, work, school, play, entertainment and social connections. Now, coming in to 2021, housing consumers are looking to their homes to offer them as much formalized structure for their new lives as possible.

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Zillow’s recently released 2021 Home Trends Forecast gives us some insights into what homeowners and homebuyers want now. Here are some of the pandemic-inspired shifts in housing consumer preferences:

  1. With so much “new” at-home time and more people living in multigenerational households, the numbers of pets, pet adoptions and sales have soared, according to the Washington Post. As a result, homeowners and buyers want fenced-in “pet-friendly” spaces and pet showers. That means larger and “private” out-door spaces. Zillow research found out that already in 2020, 73.1% of rental listings allowed pets and that for-sale listings that mentioned a pet shower/wash sold for +5.1% than those that didn’t. Listings that mentioned a fenced backyard sold 6.8 days faster.
  2. Even early on into the pandemic in May, 41% of owners and buyers wanted “well-equipped” kitchen as Americans were eating at home. Buyers with the ability to pay up to +4.5% over an asking price on a listed home wanted a “well-equipped” outdoor kitchen as well. Already owners with the ability to afford an outdoor kitchen added it.
  3. Home offices or, as Zillow called it, Zoom rooms are now at the top of housing consumers’ preference lists so they can have long-term work, learning and ideal environments for virtual everything.
  4. Tech-driven smart home features have expanded from security and efficiency systems to health-centered technologies and at-home gyms so consumers are able to live, work, clean and work-out without having to be worried about other peoples’, even their family’s, contagious germs and viruses.
  5. Clearly, newly built homes are and will continue to be in high demand into 2021. Why? 25% of homebuyers liked that new builds can be customized and 37% like that new builds are new, unused, cleaner.
  6. Affordable homes and small towns are also obvious must-haves. Less density, more space and lower living costs are high up on housing consumer preference lists during pandemic-inspired concerns for health and financial well being.


Thanks to Zillow and InmanNews.

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