NEW DATA: Are low interest rates or a desire for community driving today’s competitive housing market?
What’s driving fast-selling homes, highly competitive bidding, and increasing home prices in Columbia? New data from Bank of America's 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report found that, while low interest rates may make homeownership more attractive, today’s homebuyers are driven by a desire for human connection, good neighbors, and a sense of community.
It’s clear that hopeful buyers in South Carolina are eager for a place to call home. John Cross, Bank of America Consumer Lending Executive for South Carolina, says first time home buyers have increased in the last 12 months. As properties continue to sell quickly across the state, buyers are investing the time to get pre-approved in advance of their full home search process. Many new listings are under contract the day the property comes on the market.
Bank of America's 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report
Each year Bank of America explores the attitudes, behaviors and preferences of the modern homebuyer. More time at home has allowed people to reassess their priorities and here are a few of the things prospective buyers are looking for.
A sense of community:
• Half (51%) of younger buyers – those ages 18 to 43 – and one third (33%) of older generations – ages 57 to 75 – say community has become more important over the past year. People want neighbors who share similar interests (73%) and are active in the community (70%).
• All signs point to homeownership fostering a sense of community. Homeowners were more likely than non-homeowners to say they like their neighbors (42% vs. 29%) and neighborhood (44% vs. 32%) more now than they did a year ago.
More space and tech features:
• Nearly half (48%) of prospective homebuyers between 18 and 43 say the importance of square footage has increased, and 60% say outdoor space is more important to them now.
• While 42% of younger prospective buyers currently live in cities, only 24% want to own a home there. Half (48%) want to buy in the suburbs and 29% want to buy in rural areas.
A multifunctional space
• Two-thirds (66%) agree that activities done in the home have changed, and this is especially true for younger generations (77%). While all agree that “home” has changed, generations are using their spaces differently:
o Those ages 18 to 43 are using their homes as an office (45%), a school (31%), a movie theater (28%) and a gym (27%).
o In comparison, fewer respondents ages 57 to 75 are using their homes as an office (28%), a movie theater (24%) and a gym (14%).
• Three quarters (75%) have participated in video calls, and of this group, 37% have gotten ideas for something to do in their own home.
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