The recently released “What Homebuyers Really Want 2021” from the National Association of Home Builders reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the housing preferences of nearly one-quarter of all home buyers. Prior to COVID-19, 26% of buyers wanted to buy a home in an outlying suburb; since the beginning of the pandemic, that share is now 30%. On the other hand, each of the other location options saw small declines or no change at all in preference. The survey has also broken-down location preferences by racial and ethnic groups as well. The results reveal that minorities are driving the increased interest for the suburbs (whether outlying or close-in). Among Asian home buyers, 62% preferred a suburban location prior to COVID-19, compared to 71% now — a 9-point increase. Among African American buyers, the share rose seven points, from 56% to 63%. And among Hispanic buyers, it increased six points, from 46% to 52%. Meanwhile, the share of Caucasian buyers who prefer a suburban location did not change much because of COVID-19, up only one point from 56% to 57%.
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Outlying Suburbs Appeal to More Home Buyers