Americans’ wallets are hurting, thanks to the increasing rate of inflation. Prices have been climbing steadily since May 2020, but people are still trying to deal with it the best they can. For some, they’re selling property and moving closer to work to save on gas while others are looking for ways to be more energy-efficient.
So, how is inflation impacting people’s approach to moving? Let’s take a look at some of the key points noted in HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Summer 2022.
Lifelong renters feel an urgency to buy
Mortgage rates are on the rise, that much we know. Yet despite the increased interest rates, lifelong renters are feeling pressure to buy a house now because they fear they may not be able to later. Perhaps a harder pill to swallow is that rent for one and two-bedroom apartments have risen more than 25% (or more!) nationwide.
Retiree’s budgets are demolished by property taxes
Many retirees are living on a strict retirement budget, but fortunately, many of them have paid off their homes. But, despite not having a mortgage, property taxes are eating away at their meager budgets – it’s worse for those who rely solely on social security. A quarter of surveyed realtors say they’re seeing seniors moving in with family because of the rising cost of living and property taxes.
Energy-efficient homes are more attractive
What do you get when you combine inflation with climate change? Rising energy bills that people struggle to afford. 48% of real estate agents report homebuyers are focusing their attention on homes that are more energy-efficient, despite energy efficiency increasing a home’s value by 25%.
Solar power and green materials are in demand
41% of surveyed real estate agents say that listings that promote energy-star certifications and solar panels on their ads are a great selling point. Homes with solar panels add between $6,000 to $12,000 in value to the home. Homeowners that install solar panels can expect to recoup up to 45% of what they spent on solar panel installations.
Low maintenance landscaping is desirable
Landscaping and curb appeal are big factors in drawing the attention of buyers, but instead of costly landscaping with ornamental greenery, homeowners are focusing on hardscaping – the use of brick, concrete, rocks, and stones – to dress up their yards. 22% of agents say they’re seeing more homeowners focus on rewilding techniques by incorporating native plants, flowers, and grasses in their landscaping.
Bye-bye grass hello astroturf
Beyond using hardscaping and native plants in their landscaping designs, 17% of real estate agents say that listings that promote astroturf are gaining some attention. It’s not going to be a popular feature in locations where there’s regular rainfall or in neighborhoods that take pride in their lawns… However, agents predict that it may grow in popularity if inflation continues to put the squeeze on our wallets.
Inflation is making many aspects of Americans’ lives and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Today’s real estate market is still a seller’s market, but if inflation continues who knows how the market will fare by the end of the year.