Will the remote-work revolution drive demand for larger homes?

Nearly half of Americans are working remotely – and many are looking to upsize their home office

Will the remote-work revolution drive demand for larger homes?

Many homeowners looking to move in the next year may upsize to get more space for a home office, according to a new study.

Forty-seven percent of Americans are currently working from home, according to a new survey by LendingTree. With more homeowners looking for home-office space, demand for larger homes is also on the rise; of those looking to move in the next year, 27% said it was because their current home is too small.

“The demand for home office space – and space in general – is driving up sales of larger homes faster than smaller homes,” LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze said in an email to MPA.

The survey found that although nearly half of Americans are working remotely, not all work-from-home spaces were created equal. Men were more likely than women to have access to a dedicated home office, and baby boomers and Gen-Xers were more likely to have a home office than younger workers.

“Men working remotely are 60% more likely than women to be using their own dedicated office space,” LendingTree senior mortgage reporter Crissinda Ponder said. Men were also more likely than women to be completely satisfied with their remote working space; 72% of men reported complete satisfaction, versus just 47% of women.

While older Americans are more likely to have a dedicated home office space, 48% of millennials are working from their bedroom, living room or kitchen table. Homeowners are also more likely to work from a dedicated home office, while the majority of renters work from their living rooms. Homeowners are also more satisfied with their workspace than renters (75% versus 47%).

Finally, white remote workers are significantly more likely to have dedicated home office space than any other racial demographic, LendingTree found. Fifty-two percent of white remote workers have their own home office, compared to 27% of Black workers, 23% of Latino workers and 23% of Asian workers.

Moving for more space

More than a quarter of survey respondents said they were thinking about moving in the next year. Of those respondents, 27% said they wanted to move because they needed more space.

“This finding underscores the growing importance home buyers are placing on purchasing a property that includes space for a home office,” Ponder said.

However, Kapfidze said that as more prospective home buyers seek out larger living spaces, prices are being driven up.

“Price increases accompany the increase in demand, and this erodes some of the benefits of low mortgage rates,” Kapfidze said. “To maximize buying power, it’s even more important for home shoppers to compare mortgage offers from a variety of lenders.”

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