NYC buyers, now in their seventh week of working from home in their now too small apartments are searching for homes north of NYC with an increasing preference for outdoor amenities. Based on a review of online search terms conducted by Houlihan Lawrence for the month of April, the first full month impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, buyers are searching for distinctively non-urban lifestyle amenities like “fenced yard” and “garden” to more luxury-driven amenities such as “tennis courts” and “paddocks”.
"As the leading brokerage north of NYC, Houlihan Lawrence has been at the forefront of data and the insights it reveals for decades."
Our recent analysis of property search data indicates a shift in buyers’ wants and needs. Online searches for outdoor amenities are a strong trend, and an early indicator of the changes we will experience in property preferences as this crisis plays out.
Inquiries from NYC buyers are increasing as the duration of the shutdown may be longer than originally projected. Additionally, the rapid adoption of work from home has allowed buyers to expand their search to locations that have longer commute times and offer larger parcels of land – both appealing choices as buyers’ priorities and preferences shift. The current crisis has been defined by the speed and abruptness of change. It is rare to see trends evolve in real estate this quickly, but one’s home has played an outsized role in this crisis and buyer needs and wants are changing at a similar pace.
The data also suggests that buyers want amenities previously sourced outside the home on their own property in a post-COVID world. Search terms like “pool,” “basketball court” and “outdoor kitchen” were top trending search terms in April on the Houlihan Lawrence website compared to a year ago. Other trending keyword searches include “mountain view,” “paddock” and “fenced yard.”
We looked to data in the past to help us navigate changing markets. In 2001 after 9/11 and during the financial crisis of 2008, we were uniquely positioned to help guide our clients through the uncertainty with data-based insights. As we navigate this health crisis, we once again will use our proprietary data to help understand the changes in consumer attitudes and intentions.