Pandemic Changes Homebuyers’ Preferences
TD Bank surveyed 380 borrowers from the South, 240 from the West, 210 from the Northeast, and 170 from the Midwest. To add, 6% of those surveyed were born in or before 1945. 39% were Millennials, and 27% from the Gen X, and 28% Baby Boomers. The 1000 borrowers, surveyed in June, provided revealing insights into how the pandemic was shifting homebuyers’ preferences.
It was interesting that 7% of the respondents were keen to raise their housing expenses while 29% wished to bring down the housing payments. 64% of the respondents were just fine with their current mortgage. Note that 1/3rd respondents were unemployed or on a furlough at the time of the survey.
Another revealing find is that while 11% of the respondents wished to relocate, 17% of the millennials held the same desire. Respondents showed keen interest in moving to the suburbs, now that they could work from home. Steve Kaminski, Head of Residential Lending, TD Bank, said that “There’s talk about somewhat of a flight to the suburbs in the purchase market given the fact that people can work from home, for example. The survey supports that and I think there’s some reality to it in areas around New York and Washington, D.C., I think some of this is marginal, and for some, trends like city dwellers moving to the suburbs may not be long-term. Time will tell, but in the meantime, our loan officers are having a lot of conversations with borrowers about things like that.”
This said, Kaminski felt that the trend may not stay long-term and just be a fallout of the psychological changes caused by the pandemic.
It is worth noting that respondents also looked forward to spending more on indoor and outdoor home improvement. Landscaping and gardening attracted great interest, with 49% rural residents, and 28% city dwellers choosing to go for it.