Are people looking for different things in home purchases now because of COVID?

August 12, 2020 by Ted Bauer

Per this article on the Q2 DFW home sales market, maybe so. But before we get to that, let's talk about some numbers.

DFW in Q2 for home builds/sales

Here's some of what we know:

  • Builders began work on 10,579 residences. 
  • That's an increase of 17.9% over Q2 2019.
  • Closings were 10,565.
  • THAT is an increase of 16.4% over Q2 2019 -- and it's the best quarter (the BEST quarter) since Q4 2016. 
  • Finished vacant inventory started the quarter at 7,251 units -- and was 6,885 at the end of the quarter.
  • For context on apartment units, there are about 740,000 in DFW right now -- with 16,991 expected to be built in the next 12 months.

So what are home-buyers looking for more of now?

According to Cassie Gibson, a SVP at Residential Strategies (they do new home market research and consulting), we've got this list of "need to haves" for a lot of current buyers:

  • Larger square footage
  • Home office for remote working
  • Improved/upgraded kitchen space
  • Integrated, high-speed Internet connections
  • Neighborhood with hike and bike trails 
  • Continued low interest rates (but of course)

Makes sense given the spacing needs and the uncertainty around work-in-office vs. work-from-home. It's easier to check these specific boxes a little further from an urban core, creating this whole "move to the burbs younger than you thought you might" narrative. We've also called this "the density shift" and "the rural renaissance."

Anecdotally I can tell you that I've been looking at houses, and a few weekends ago my A/C broke and I decided to go to a bunch of open houses to, well, be in air conditioning. As I did that, I saw a house in Woodhaven (eastern Fort Worth), which was over 3,100 square feet (larger square footage), had a first-floor office and an entire second floor man cave you could make into an office, had a kitchen upgraded in 2019, had high-speed Internet, and was adjacent to three trails. So, it checked every box. 

And, even though it was an open house, the listing agent told us ... 

... there were already six offers in on it.

So, yea. 

That does seem to be what people are looking for these days. 

Here are all our house listings in DFW, and here's a broken down link to houses all over DFW between $200,000 and $400,000 with square footage of 2,800 to 4,000 and some of these above check boxes: 

Bigger houses on the affordable side

We've got you covered.

Go find yourself

 

About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.