Covid-19 has been a part of our daily lives for years with far reaching effects on the economy, workplaces, and the family dynamic. It’s also impacted how many people view where they live. No longer are homes and apartments seen primarily as a place to sleep, but as places where we spend most of our time.
It’s a mental shift that also brings change as homebuyers and renters seek dwellings that better fit their new realities. From leaving major cities and heading out into the Midwest to seeking larger homes for their families, these new living preferences are also changing the real estate market in Lehigh Valley and beyond.
Where are Buyers Moving to these Days?
When Covid first hit the scene almost two years ago, residents of crowded metropolitan areas like New York started moving long-distance to other cities and states. Living in suburbs, small towns, and rural countryside made it easier to isolate. This is still the case as homebuyers and renters continue to move away from city centers that tend to be hit harder by Covid outbreaks. Those moving to these areas are also putting more effort into finding larger, detached properties for their families to live, play, learn, and work in.
What are Buyers Looking for in a World Affected by Covid?
It seems that many homebuyers are searching for properties with different features and amenities than in the past. While open floorplans, kitchens, and bathrooms were top priority to buyers in the past, nowadays people are focused on square footage and outdoor living.
Have the Office You’ve Always Desired at Home
With many white-collar workers transitioning to remote work during 2020, the need for a private area to work in has skyrocketed. In fact, searches for properties with ‘home offices’ shot up 17% during 2020. Homebuyers want a separate room they can set up as an office that’s quiet and away from distractions. Even if homebuyers have returned to the office in 2021, it’s likely that they are still interested in having an office at home, just in case.
Room to Run Around
Being cooped up inside apartments and homes with small backyards during the Covid shutdowns gave everyone a craving for the outdoors. Homebuyers are now more interested in having big backyards with multiple outdoor living options, such as a deck and outdoor kitchen.
Rentals In the Midwest Increasing Rates
Landlords in the Midwest have also noticed that more people are moving into their rental properties as they leave urban areas on the East Coast. Demand has increased steadily and remained high in places across the Midwest. Landlords are also raising rental rates to take advantage of the demand. But, there are a few places, such as Philadelphia, PA, that have seen rents going down 20% in 2021 per the Apartment Guide Annual Rent Report.
Lehigh Valley is about an hour’s drive out of Philadelphia yet offers multiple smaller cities with valued, family friendly amenities. Its appeal has grown in recent years for those who are seeking an escape from nearby metropolitan areas. In fact, some Lehigh Valley moving companies are appealing to those who are concerned about Covid with free virtual estimates and digital shipment tracking services.
A Boom in New Construction
You may have also heard that the new construction market is growing too. New construction is expected to have increased by 1.8% overall in 2021, with a forecast of 3.1% growth for 2022, per Globe Newswire. This may not seem like a lot, but that’s with major supply chain issues and cost increases for materials. Indicating a strong interest in new homes by potential buyers who are willing to put up with delays.
Covid has changed many things about our world, including how people in the Lehigh Valley and across the United States live. It will take time to see if these changes are permanent or if homebuying and rental trends will change yet again in the future.
Ask About Our Lehigh Valley Moving Services
If you are searching for movers in the Lehigh Valley, PA area, consider reaching out to O’Brien’s Moving & Storage. We offer comprehensive moving services for customers. Feel free to ask us about:
- Residential Moving
- Senior Moving
- Office & Industrial Moving
- International Moving
- Specialized Moving Services
- Storage Solutions
To get started with a free quote, give our Lehigh Valley movers a call. Or you can use our online form to request more information about our residential moving services.