The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including, perhaps most notably, our relationship with our homes. Our living space suddenly becomes the focal point of our lives, rather than simply a place we return to at the end of the day. But when the insecurity due to the lockdown strikes, many people become dissatisfied with their current living situation and the desire for new housing explodes.

For some, the pandemic offers an opportunity to save upfront, and with low interest rates, buying a new home is more feasible than ever. Experts say: “It’s the end result. A combination of several economic and consumer dynamics has created one of the strongest housing markets I’ve seen in my 20+ years.”

The current housing boom and the lingering effects of the pandemic have prompted tremendous changes in the housing construction industry, posing new challenges to the construction process. As we glimpse a post-pandemic world, the way we live in our homes is different and the way we design and build them also changes. Here are seven ways building a home in 2021 will be different from previous years.

 More and more homebuyers, including first-timers, are building new homes.

1, Even as demand for housing surges, fewer people have listed their homes in the past year due to health concerns amid the pandemic, so the resale market still struggles to keep up, explains expert. keep. , note that the lack of options has driven many buyers to new-build homes. According to research from experts, the number of homebuyers who said they would definitely buy a new home rose to 58%, up from 48% before the pandemic.

That increase is reflected across demographics, including younger, first-time homebuyers. “We saw a significant increase in the home ownership preference of centenarians during the pandemic, and we still see that today,” the expert said.

2. New construction prices have skyrocketed.

Despite low interest rates, pandemic-related material shortages and shipping delays are driving up the cost of new closures. The National Association of Builders reports that more than 90% of builders are reporting shortages of essential elements such as equipment, framing timber and directional circuit boards (OSBs).

Brett Phillips of Texas-based design and construction firm High Street Homes, said the overall supply of new-built homes has also fallen as more builders catch up on previous commitments that were delayed during the pandemic. go out. Combined with high demand, low supply can lead to extreme price increases. According to data from the NAHB, the median sale price for a new home has increased by 18% over the past year, to $374,400 from $317,100 in May 2020.

3. Healthy homes are more important than ever.

The COVID-19 health crisis has contributed to a renewed focus on health, including how our homes can affect our health. “A deeper understanding of how your home helps support your life is certainly something we’ve seen over the past year,” the expert said. Homeowners are now looking for features like low VOC paint and more efficient HVAC systems and insulation that can help improve indoor air quality, all of which are easy to find in new homes . “The energy efficiency, health benefits and construction techniques we use today are so much better than the old way of building houses,” says chuy.

Charcoal gray office print


4. Flexible space is a must.

“Room usage has changed and is more flexible this year,” says Heuser. “Instead of a home office that’s only used for work, we’re moving to think about flexible rooms that serve a variety of purposes, such as a gym, study or media room. ” As the pandemic subsides, remote working and remote learning will likely fall out of favor, but having an extra living space that can be used for different activities will continue to be appealing. Lord said: “If someone was previously looking for a three-bedroom home, they may now be interested in a four-bedroom home as lifestyle changes make having an extra room really important. important.

Modern house outside and backyard


5. New constructions in the suburbs are increasingly attractive.

The telework policy allows many people to abandon high-density apartment buildings and townhouse complexes in the city to live in the suburbs. The expert says: “For anyone who doesn’t. With outdoor space during the pandemic, the idea of ​​moving into a single-family home, separate from your own yard, is deeply coveted. Areas with easy access to natural beauty are also becoming increasingly desirable. “Places where people can get out and feel connected to nature have seen a significant increase in new construction,”

Related: Rent vs Own Your Home: Here are the pros, cons, and financial costs

open plan living area with exposed beams


6. Some homeowners trade open floor plans for privacy.

With entire families living, working and studying at home for over a year, open floor plans are starting to fall out of favor. Even as more activity begins to take place outside the home, many homeowners are seeing the benefits of a formal layout that offers privacy. “I think the open concept will always be desirable, but there’s something really cool about having more walls to decorate and protect the sound,” says c. “In our home, we wanted to create a separate dining space that allows you to really focus on your meal, so you’re not distracted by the TV or how many dishes you have in the sink. “

However, open concept designs do not disappear completely. For example, they still make sense for homeowners who love to cook and entertain. “We haven’t seen this big change from the open floor plan yet,” said Lord. “There seems to be a preference for both depending on what best serves your family.”

7. Patience is key.

Amid shortages, shipping delays, and strong demand, building a home in 2021 can be a challenge, and patience is key to navigating the process smoothly. “If you’re about to start a project, start with the mindset that everything will take longer and you might have to change part of your design.”