The rise in hybrid work is already increasing the demand for more urban living space.

New Study Points to Home Offices Being Must-Haves for Home Buyers

Hope is fading for the end of high home/rental prices and housing surpluses in urban markets.

It’s already appearing that the majority of remote work will not be completely remote; most workers will continue coming into the office at least one or two days a week in order to leverage the flexibility of remote work with the benefits of face-to face human interactions.

Hybrid working models, sometimes working in-office on site and sometimes working in-office at home, are now and will into the future render city living “near the office” the preferred norm.

According to a recent report from Square Yards, increased demand for larger homes in both near-suburbs and urban areas will persist.

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Brokerages Already Reporting Shifts to Larger Homes

Square Yard’s recent report on the relationship between hybrid working and home buyers’ preferences for more space underlines this shift.

“A study room that can be used as home office has become a must-have for 48% of home buyers post-COVID.”

Brokerages nationwide are confirming Square Yards’ findings. 

Both Suburban and Urban Housing To Be Affected by Hybrid Work Models

According to Bloomberg, there are a couple of reasons that the demand for larger homes will affect both suburban and urban areas.

First of all, the country’s transportation infrastructure is not going to magically become more efficient, convenient and timesaving with a snap of the finger.  People who commute into town for on-site working even one or two days a week will likely experience long commute times

Secondly, much of urban space is zoned for single-family housing.  Such single-family housing in cities like San Francisco will likely become even more costly, assuming increased demand from hybrid workers wanting/needing at-home office space for even two or three times a week.

Plus, there is the possibility of remodeling.  Urban homebuyers and/or landlords can simply knock down walls to combine smaller living units into larger living units.

All Income Levels Likely Affected

A likely consequence of such remodeling and/or combining smaller spaces to make larger spaces will have a ripple effect up and down the income scale.

Combining larger spaces will likely mean higher sale and rent prices for the wealthy.  Those residents and/or tenants who were displaced by those “combining” renovations may be priced out of where they used to live.  Displaced owners and/or tenants will then move into housing currently occupied by lower-income residents…and so on and so on the affordability crisis may only continue for this next, second decade.


Building more housing supply BUT…due to the exorbitant cost of land and restrictive zoning requirements, only 6% – 7% of all new housing in both urban and suburban areas are considered to be starter, affordable homes, according to the Urban Institute.

Thanks to Bloomberg and Urban Institute.


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