Markets in general can change very rapidly, and this is certainly the case with the Boston real estate market. Cultural changes in response to the pandemic are influencing this complex market in equally complex ways. Some of these trends may be temporary, but some might last for a long time. Even if the trends themselves are temporary, they will have consequences that will last for years.
A Market That Favors Buyers
There are situations where the real estate market is truly balanced. Sellers and buyers both tend to thrive when that happens. Buyers can find the homes that they like, and sellers will still get enough money for those homes.
At present, the people who are trying to sell their homes quickly may actually lose money. There are lots of homes available in the Boston real estate and housing market, and there are comparatively few potential buyers.
Many people aren't interested in moving right now. It isn't the ideal time to travel, even between states. People all around the world are now changing their long-term plans. Millions of Americans are choosing not to retire this year or next year, even if they planned to do so years ago.
The people who have changed jobs or lost jobs might move for the sake of a new job, which could eventually cause additional shifts in the Boston housing market. However, the people who decide to sell their homes at this exact point in time could end up losing thousands of dollars.
Single-Family Housing is Popular
While single-family homes of any kind have obviously been popular for a long time, they've become even more popular in the more recent months. Plenty of young adults are moving back in with their parents. Relatives are sharing living spaces more frequently than they used to, and a single-family home is a structure that is capable of meeting the needs of a relatively large group of people.
The individuals that would have lived independently in several different apartments are now deciding to share a single larger living space instead. Families are more or less deciding to pool their resources in difficult times.
People are also finding it easier to choose the homes that they really want, because it's becoming so common for people to work from home. They don't have to specifically choose houses or apartments that are close to their jobs, which is a difficult task for anyone at the best of times. These certainly are not the best of times, and a single-family house meets the needs of a lot of families today.
Practicing social distancing is easier in a single-family house than it is in an apartment. Some apartments, particularly in large cities like Boston, are barely even large enough for some of the most important social distancing guidelines. A single-family house gives people the chance to stay safe and be more flexible at the same time.
It's Less Common for People to Choose Smaller Living Spaces
Condominiums are still very popular in other parts of the country, but fewer people are purchasing them in Boston. People have often chosen condos in the past because of the practicalities involved with them.
However, people are now nervous about being in a condominium complex with a lot of neighbors that live in units that are located close to theirs. Some people are just as nervous about living in large apartment complexes and buildings.
If people are going to spend a lot of time at home, they need that space to be relatively large. Cabin fever can be an issue for anyone, but it can be more pronounced in a small space. A single-family home can create the right balance for the modern people of Boston.