COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life from the way we buy groceries to how we keep in touch with family and friends to the way we buy and sell a home. While the home buying and selling process may look a little different than it did a few months ago as the industry implements measures to keep buyers and sellers safe, the housing market remains strong.

In fact, as many states have re-opened their economies in the last few weeks, there’s been a spike in purchase mortgage applications—which are up 18% over the same time last year. As demand increases, we’re seeing a new trend emerge as home buying priorities shift because of the pandemic.

Restricted travel, telecommuting and distance learning mean many people are enjoying more time at home. And that shift is reflected in what home buyers consider to be the most important features in a house.

One of the items at the top of the list is more space. Searches for single family homes have increased by 40%, while searches for condos and co-ops have decreased. And the minimum home size requirement is up 10% compared to before the pandemic.

With more leisure time spent at home and a shift toward remote work policies that may remain intact—at least in part—even after the pandemic ends—additional features such as pools, larger outdoor spaces and a dedicated home office are becoming more popular among potential buyers.

If you’re in the market for a new house this summer, we can help you find the mortgage that’s right for you – no matter what type of home you want, what features you’re looking for or what’s going on in the market. Give us a call and one of our Licensed Mortgage Professionals will help you get started!