Buyers are increasingly looking for a neighborly community. Fifty-one percent of buyers between the ages of 18 to 43 and about one-third of buyers between the ages of 57 to 75 say that community has become more important to them over the past year. House hunters are looking for neighbors who share similar interests and are active in the community, according to Bank of America’s newly released 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report, based on a survey of 2,000 adults who currently own a home or plan to in the future.
“Over the last year, people have had plenty of time at home to reassess their priorities and goals, including how their living space and surroundings fit into their lives,” says AJ Barkley, senior vice president of Neighborhood Lending and Retail Sales East Executive, Consumer Lending at Bank of America. “We know homeownership remains as important as ever, especially for younger generations looking for that sense of community.”
Homeowners were more likely than non-homeowners to say they like their neighbors—42% versus 29%. They were also more likely to say positive things about their neighborhood—44% versus 32%. The feeling of safety is also important to home buyers, the Bank of America survey shows.
Besides the importance of community, home shoppers have tweaked their home wish lists after spending more time at home over the past year. Nearly half—or 48%—of prospective home buyers between the ages of 18 to 43 say the importance of square footage has increased for them. Sixty percent are putting more weight on the outdoor space, too.
More activities are heading into the home and that has made potential buyers—particularly younger buyers—assess homes in new ways. For example, survey respondents between the ages of 18 to 43 say their home is now used as an office (45%), a school (31%), a movie theater (28%), and a gym (27%). Younger prospective buyers also expressed more desire for new technology in their homes, such as smart or Wi-Fi–enabled security systems (51%), solar energy products (42%), and smart or Wi-Fi–enabled appliances (44%).
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"Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission."