Elbow to elbow working at the kitchen table — with parents working from home, kids virtual or working on homework, and multiple generations under the same roof — Americans are ready for a little more space in their homes. An extra bedroom, office, larger living area, or even bigger backyard and patio are all top-wants for home buyers. 

It seems overdone to say that the pandemic has shifted consumer preferences in significant ways, but it is true. Between shutdowns and changed social habits, people are preferring things that they didn’t two years ago. Although certain areas might be less affected, certainly places where the pandemic hit hardest might experience the most dramatic effects. If you were living in downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco during the pandemic, then you might feel the effects of the pandemic differently than someone living in Bakersfield or inland.


Americans Who Want More Space is Up Since 2019

According to a Pew Research Center survey from July of this year, “Americans today are more likely than they were in the fall of 2019 to express a preference for living in a community where ‘houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away.’ ”

A larger house trumps proximity to shopping and entertainment for some Americans. After all, the pandemic brought out the possibility that those shopping and entertainment opportunities might not be opportunities — with shutdowns, changes to hours, and other restrictions — the biggest opportunity to entertain and relax may be at your own house. 

Pew Research Center continued that, “This shift has occurred during the coronavirus outbreak and the accompanying period of telework, remote schooling and pandemic-related restrictions on indoor dining and other indoor activities.”

6 in 10 US Adults would prefer to live in a community with larger homes with greater distances to retail stores and schools

39% say they prefer a community with smaller houses that are closer together with schools, stores and restaurants within walking distance

Would you rather live in a bigger home (3,000 square feet) further from amenities or in a smaller home (1,800 square ft) but walking distance to a downtown?

The desire for a larger home farther apart is seen in developments popping up through the country.






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.