All around the country, Americans are experiencing the financial strain of rampant inflation and they’re struggling to make ends meet. Some homeowners are selling their properties and downsizing in an effort to cut costs.
We’re going to take a look at HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights for Summer 2022 to see inflation’s true impact on the real estate market. If you’re thinking about entering the market in the next few weeks or months, you’ll certainly want to read this.
Longtime renters feel pressure to buy
In many rental markets across the country, rent for one and two-bedroom apartments has increased by 25%, making rent unbearable for many. But even as interest rates are rising higher and higher, longtime renters are concerned that they need to buy a house now before rates go even higher.
Property taxes are draining retiree’s fixed budgets
A lot of seniors are living on a fixed income and adhere to a budget so they can enjoy their retirement. Retirees who were able to pay off their homes aren’t necessarily feeling as much pressure as those who rely solely on social security, but property taxes are draining a lot of these folks’ bank accounts. 25% of surveyed realtors said more and more seniors are selling their homes and moving in with loved ones to save money.
Homebuyers are very interested in energy-efficient homes
Rent, gas, food… Everything is more expensive, and that includes energy costs. Climate change is making the temperature creep higher than in previous years and when you combine that with inflation, it’s a recipe for even more financial strain. 48% of agents report homebuyers are looking for homes with energy-efficient upgrades, despite these upgrades increasing the home’s value by at least 25%.
Homes with solar energy and use green materials are in demand
Solar panels and energy-star certified appliances and upgrades are in high demand. 41% of agents reported listings that highlight these features are gaining more attention than listings that do not. The average homeowner can expect to spend between $6,000 to $12,000 on solar panels. Homeowners that invest in these upgrades can recoup up to 45% of that money back.
Homebuyers want homes with low-maintenance landscaping
Homeowners only get one chance to make a good first impression and homes with elaborate landscaping that requires a lot of upkeep aren’t as desirable as it once was. Today, homebuyers are drawn to low-maintenance landscaping. According to 22% of agents, homeowners are focusing their attention on native plants, flowers, and grasses to boost curb appeal.
Could artificial grass be the way to go?
There’s a small segment of homeowners that are taking low-maintenance landscaping to a whole new level. 17% of agents say their clients are getting rid of grass and installing artificial grass instead. Granted, going with astroturf isn’t going to appeal to a large pool of buyers, especially not in neighborhoods that pride themselves on impeccable lawns or where it rains a lot. But, as inflation continues to drain bank accounts, this feature could be more common in the future.
Americans are changing many aspects of their lives because of the high cost of… well, everything. While it may not be the perfect time to buy a house, who knows how the market will fare throughout the rest of the year? It’s a tough time, to be sure.