Home is where the heart is; the office is where the ____ is. How would you fill in the blank? Is the office where your desk is? For most office workers, the office is wherever you have internet access. A strong WIFI signal means work can happen. If your phone is with you, then so is the office.

 

I wanted to tackle two interesting topics that are tangential to the real estate market. First, the popularity of Resimercial design in offices. Second, the state of the modern office and whether in a post-COVID world, today’s commercial buildings become residential units.

 

The crossover of home decor into office design is dubbed “Resimercial”. Resimercial design incorporates, ” Comfortable seating, Soft ambient lighting, Flexible spaces, Durable upholstery, Residential-inspired accessories like rugs and lamps” for a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere*. Before coronavirus, many office spaces were adopting this style as a way of increasing worker productivity and reducing stress. During COVID, the Resimercial is ironically adopted because many American workers are working from home. 

In June, a Stanford Economist Nicholas Bloom reported that 42 percent of American workers are working from home during the lockdowns**.  This statistic — and shift in the office set up — helps explain why today’s home buyers want a home office or at minimum, space in the family room or kitchen to set up workstations.

Are you considering selling a home that has a separate home office or a back house that is used as a home office? Those features can demand a premium in today’s market. 

We are still in a competitive seller’s market in which home buyers are competing with multiple offers and many home buyers get creative with how to make their offer stand out. The story of “low inventory” seems like the headline that Southern California can’t escape. We still do not have enough  inventory of  homes (especially affordable and entry-level homes) for home buyers. 

 

One solution that has been thrown around is converting empty strip centers, shopping malls, and offices into residential use. Zoning, infrastructure, time, money, and other logistics will challenge the advocates of these ideas.*** Is the end of the American office space also the end of the housing shortage? Would you live in an abandoned mall that had been converted to multi-unit housing? 

 

 

 


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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.