The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a reversal in the trend among home buyers for smaller properties. Now, with people being forced to spend more time indoors, buyers are now looking for a much bigger home instead.
In other words, so-called “McMansions” are coming back in vogue.
“The pandemic has been long enough and deep enough that it might bring a change in collective thinking toward bigger homes,” Sonia Hirt, dean of the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design, told realtor.com. “The suburban home that was so stereotypical and boring suddenly proved itself to have benefits we’ve completely forgotten about.”
As such, some people, especially those living in urban areas, may be more willing to swap their cramped apartments and condos for a bigger home in the suburbs.
The National Association of Realtors noted in its 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report that the median size of an existing home purchased was 2,060 square feet before the coronavirus pandemic. For new homes meanwhile, the media size was 2,291 feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
But architects say that they expect these medians to increase in the next year. While we won’t be seeing scores of people rush to buy the 5,000+ square foot homes that defined the suburbs in the 1980s and 1990s, people will nonetheless be looking for more indoor space.
“The market is not being driven by people looking for massive homes," Ken Perlman, managing principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, told realtor.com. "It’s being driven by people looking for the right combination of functionality and price.”
Families are also looking for more room to accommodate adult relatives who might have moved in due to the pandemic. In addition, many college students and young adults have moved back home due to stay at home measures and the economic situation.
“We're going to see another bump in multigenerational living,” Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, a Washington, D.C.-based multigenerational advocacy organization, told realtor.com. “By combining resources, they can afford a bigger house or a more comfortable lifestyle.”