As the country went under lockdown, Americans were on the move.

Over the last year, 1 in 20 adults moved from where they were living either permanently or temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

Most cited financial reasons for relocating, followed by a job loss and wanting to be closer to family. Some said they needed more space or were able to work remotely during the pandemic.

For the most part, Covid has encouraged potential buyers to move from city apartments to suburban homes, driving up home prices nearly across the board.

Millennials are leading move from most major cities. They’re getting married, having kids, and finding their downtown apartments increasingly cramped, particularly since the pandemic has stranded everyone at home. These families seek not only more space, but affordable homes and lower costs. 2020 data shows that total sales inventory across New York City reached its highest data level since 2010. In some major markets, home demand is so intense that there’s less than a three-month inventory. Low interest rates are helping to fuel the trend.

So here are a few of the main requirements that new homeowners are looking for and willing to pay a premium to get them:

  • Larger home offices, home classrooms, in-law/guest suites, in-fill cottages, and useful green space, (not, however, golf courses).
  • Many buyers are environmentally conscious and want homes to reflect that. That means more options to use alternative energy, smart home features, eco-sensitive landscaping, and high-speed connectivity.
  • The pandemic has created a demand for look-don’t-touch features, leading to increasing demand for smart-home technology, touchless controls, motion sensor lights, and voice commands.
  • Aging parents moving in with adult children or young adults returning to the nest will boost demand for homes with separate living areas and kitchens and private entrances.

The pandemic will end, but the trends it has accelerated probably won’t. Those looking to start or expand families will likely look for more space and better value. Because so many of us are no longer tethered to an office, we’re free to roam the country in search of their ideal community and home.