Top Home Trends

January 20, 2021

This past year of pandemic-style living has forced many of us to reevaluate our dwellings. As we rethink our homes’ functionality, features we never knew we needed—such as a home gym or no-touch appliances—are suddenly in high demand. We’re also taking a new look at where we’ve chosen to live, as work-from-home situations open up new location possibilities.

Here, Zillow shares the top 10 home trends for 2021 that will not only add comfort, but might even add extra value to your home.

1. ‘Zoom rooms’. A Zillow survey found a desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons why Americans working from home say they would consider a move. As people tire of working from a kitchen table, they will be wanting a more permanent—and quiet—solution for their at-home desk.

2. ‘Homecation’ amenities. With lots of time and nowhere to go, homeowners are coming up with creative solutions to create vacation-vibes right at home. “Pool” was the top Zillow keyword search term in 2020. “Waterfront” and “dock” also landed in the top ten. Additionally, homeowners may be looking for big and small ways to create a luxury experience at home, from upgrading to a spa-like bathtub or relaxing rain shower. The rise of remote work will also allow more homeowners to turn their favorite vacation destination into their hometown.

3. Intergenerational living. Intergenerational living will rise in popularity as young adults and grandparents alike find themselves moving in with family for financial and health reasons. The share of young people moving back home reached all-time highs as more Millennials and Gen Z’ers than ever—particularly renters—found themselves packing their bags and moving back in with their parents.

4. Gourmet kitchens. This year inspired people to become more ambitious in the kitchen. A previous Zillow survey finds 41 percent of people value a well-equipped kitchen more than before as a result of social distancing recommendations.

5. Backyard oasis. A yard that is safe and functional has taken on renewed importance—a Zillow survey from the Harris Poll found that 41 percent of people say they value a large outdoor space more in light of social distancing recommendations. Look for features like firepits, outdoor kitchens, smart sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting to increase your home’s sales appeal and value.

6. Smart and safe tech. It’s more vital than ever that our homes stay as germ-free as possible, and smart-home technology has come to save the day, with products like touchless appliances, self-cleaning toilets and bidets. Expect a lot of these products to become the standard in home design. Additionally, Zillow analysis found that listings mentioning a smart light in their listing description sold seven days faster than expected, and listings mentioning a smart thermostat sold six days faster than expected.

7. Small-city living. Increased opportunity for remote work has pushed many home shoppers to reconsider how and where they want to live. Since there is less need to be close to urban job centers, shoppers in 2021 may opt for wide open spaces and smaller, more affordable communities. This trend is already playing out in Zillow’s search traffic data.

8. Health and wellness at home. People across the country quickly adapted to rapidly changing restrictions, creating fitness clubs or mental wellness spaces in their homes. Listings that mentioned “health and wellness” increased starting in summer, peaking in November as many lockdown orders resumed, and daylight took away precious daylight hours for outdoor activities.

9. Pet-friendly living. The flexibility of remote work gave many people the opportunity to be home all day, and in turn, made it easier to add a new best friend to their family. An increase in furry family members means “pet-friendly” rentals are on the rise, and more people will be looking for pet-friendly features in their next home. A 2020 Zillow analysis found for-sale listings mentioning a pet shower or dog wash in their listing description sold for 5.1 percent more than similar homes, while listings mentioning a fenced backyard sold 6.8 days faster than expected.

10. New construction. Traffic for new construction homes has increased significantly on Zillow, up 82 percent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter a year ago, signaling an increasing number of shoppers interested in personalizing their home’s features and living in a new, clean space.

— Courtesy RisMedia