Life right now feels a bit surreal as we continue to stay at home and try to slow the spread of coronavirus. Eventually things will pick back up and we will head back toward our lives as we knew them pre-COVID-19, but I don’t think it will be a linear trajectory. There are some aspects of daily life that may change forever because of this pandemic.
Having to work through social distancing protocols and coming up with solutions may create some significant changes in how real estate is conducted, as well as how housing trends are affected, in general. For instance, what new housing preferences will emerge in the wake of COVID-19? Because we are spending more time at home than ever these days, almost everyone is looking at their living spaces a little differently.
Let’s take a look at some of these changing housing trends:
Prior to all this, a Gallup survey showed that 43% of Americans work from home occasionally, compared to 39% back in 2012. More than 2/3 of people around the world worked away from the office at least one day per week prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. I believe that these numbers will continue to increase—not because of the coronavirus scare, but because businesses have found ways to utilize to manage business remotely and in many cases are seeing benefits from this change. Therefore, adequate home office space will become even more desirable for a larger cross section of the population.
Location, Location, Location
Yes, the three most important words in real estate will still be the most important—just maybe in different ways. Increased telecommuting opportunities and an added desire for social distancing may make living in suburban or rural markets more appealing. Another factor will be the outdoor space around the house itself.
Are there walking paths, parks and bike trails nearby to go out and get some fresh air and exercise? Will some people want increased opportunities for an outdoor commute on a bicycle rather than sitting in traffic in their cars? Is there a private yard where you can enjoy outdoor time with family and friends? Here in Aspen and Snowmass, ski-in/ski-out properties are already extremely desirable. I think the demand for this feature will grow even more as some people may want to maintain autonomy from the crowded lodges in the winter season.
Personal Wellness Space
I know when I’ve been stuck at home so much lately, I try to make time every day to work on my own personal wellness. Homes with private gyms and/or space to practice yoga or morning meditation will likely increase in desirability. Home fitness companies like Peloton have picked up a lot of business since gyms are closed and people want to find a way to work out at home with a virtual trainer. In your next home, you may want extra space for that Peloton and whatever other workout/wellness equipment that has become part of your new daily lifestyle.
The Human Connection
Having to practice social distancing is not easy for many of us. I am a people person and it kills me not to be able to socialize or meet with my clients in person as much as I normally would. I believe most of us will come out of this situation with a greater appreciation for human connections. I can sure tell you that I will feel a stronger connection to my family, friends, neighbors, clients, co-workers and the Aspen community overall. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, and this reinvigorated desire for social togetherness may impact housing trends to tighten a sense of community—at least for a little while.
Shaking Up Your Routine
We all had our own daily and weekly routines before this. Now, we all have our new routines that get us through each day. Most of us are going to have altered routines moving forward, even as social distancing precautions are eased. As your routine changes, so will your housing needs and realization of what’s most important in your daily life.
How are your personal priorities changing because of COVID-19? How is this situation affecting the way you look at your living space? I’d like to know. Send me an email at [email protected] with your thoughts on this topic and feel free to call me anytime at (970) 366-0891 with any questions you have about Aspen real estate.