Whether its stimulus funds, or just moving to the in home office, many folks especially in 55 and older communities are prioritizing amenities. I have seen and experienced more than 20% of homeowners are rethinking their home amenities. Expanding their outside patio, to adding a screen room, or maybe an outdoor kitchen. Front yard gardening, adding tropical Palms and plants that compliment the tropical climate in Florida. Perhaps by accident buyers are understanding the perfect home is changing.

From grandparents to sons and daughters, a community that accommodates all. NOCATEE Ponte Vedra Florida

Comfortably settled in their community while working at homes has spawned new interest and ideas while taking breaks, walking around their property. Time on their hands, retired or working it’s becoming an important part of the new lifestyle. Many home owners were considering a move closer to their children, and now their children are seeking opportunities closer to their parents and grandparents. The value of family is growing and connecting a closer nit relationship.

The buyers, generation X, millennial’s, seniors on the verge of retiring, areas with independent living and assisted living where graduating as life’s challenges meet the pavement of reality. All are exploring communities that accommodate a strong versatility in education, entertainment, lifestyle changes, are all just a few of the trends we are experiencing. A greater emphasis on multi-generational entertainment — playgrounds, gyms and recreational centers, and large TV rooms or home theaters where everyone can enjoy a film or sporting events are becoming a highly sought after amenity. Boat owners are looking to move closer to marinas. It’s a new at home era where families can practice their hobbies all in one place.

Nocatee Florida accommodates entire generations

We are also seeing where buyers want more manageable spaces. More square footage, outdoor living accommodations, including the outdoor kitchens, fire pits to draw family and friends together and still accommodate social distancing. “A lot of people are doing more at-home entertaining, in small and limited groups, so they really want a nicely appointed outdoor setup, and in some cases prefer to entertain groups strictly outdoors,” Communities, like Nocatee, in Ponte Vedra Florida, are extremely diversified and accommodate most all of these demands. It’s why it’s one of the most sought after communities in the entire united states.

Along with more outdoor dining areas, club amenities, more affluent buyers have definitely “always sought out, and continue to seek great amenities.” This is a given and matters more than ever. Most buyers relocating to the state of Florida are still putting in their nine to five, 6 am to 8 pm and demand that private study, or suite, or library and suddenly these have moved to the top of the list for many prospective buyers.

Above and beyond the need for additional indoor or outdoor space is the desire for an area where professionals can continue to be productive and collaborative at work. Today’s buyers are disinterested in bringing renovation projects indoors. If they’re going to implement large-scale changes, they’ll put that investment into their gardens, patios, and general landscaping. “Covered or screened-in porches and electric awnings have become a new thing,” The biggest change I have seen is not in demand for size nor amenities, but rather demand for quality,”

Nationally real estate professionals — convey that markets that may have once been popular as a summer or a winter retreat are now being occupied year-round, and must therefore deliver constant value, from the overall lifestyle to the finest details.

Lets face it, in the new perfect world, outdoor and indoor amenities are important, however the consensus for the now and not too distance future are outdoor facilities to accommodate social distancing.

I wanted to share this, rarely does the public get the opportunity to view stats that are so accurate!

Dr. Jessica Lautz

Dr. Jessica Lautz is the Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of REALTORS®.

As the effects of the pandemic continue, nine in 10 REALTORS® say their housing markets are in recovery mode, with many even saying their markets are hotter now than a year ago, recent member surveys from the National Association of REALTORS® show.

“The delayed spring market is definitely occurring now in the summer months,” says National Association of Realtors vice president Lautz of demographics and behavioral insights. The housing market is seeing unprecedented monthly jumps in existing-home sales, and home price appreciation remains strong

Lautz notes several insights, culled from recent NAR research, that show how buyers’ and sellers’ behavior is changing during the Coronavirus health crisis. She highlighted those findings at Thursday’s “REvive! From Crisis” virtual conference that featured an all-day lineup of industry leaders and speakers.

1. Buyers are in a rush. Last year, buyers looked at an average of nine homes before making a home purchase. Now, they are looking at three to four homes before initiating a contract. “Buyers are fast-forwarding their transactions,” Homes are selling in an average of just 24 days. More than a quarter of REALTORS® report their buyers are acting with greater urgency over recent weeks, particularly those making home purchases in rural areas.

2. Wish lists are shifting. Home shoppers are changing some of their priorities for home features. For example, NAR research shows that the top feature desired by buyers is a home office. Many households may need more than one. Also, more home buyers are sizing up outdoor space, showing an increasing desire for a pool, garden, or just more space to enjoy the outdoors.

3. Buyers are less concerned about commutes. As remote work grows, 22% of about 2,300 REALTORS® surveyed by NAR say their buyers are becoming less concerned about commute time when shopping for a home. Freedom from the bounds of the commute has allowed some buyers to expand their searches beyond city centers to the suburbs and exurbs—which may also offer more affordable housing. A quarter of REALTORS® report their buyers are looking away from the city center and toward to the suburbs or smaller towns. “If workplaces keep changing and there’s this greater acceptance of remote working, this trend could stick around longer,” Lautz says. Also, second homes may be in greater demand. “If they can work from any place, we could see more buyers embrace second homes in rural areas,” Lautz said.

4. Multi generational households may grow more common again!  One in six Generation Xers and younger baby boomers purchased a multi generational home pre-COVID. Lautz suggests that trend could increase as more generations, including aging parents and adult children, all come under the same roof during the pandemic. “Moving forward, that could mean your buyers will be looking for larger single-family homes,” Lautz says. “They also may want to make sure they have a sizable living space on the first level” for “AND AGING PARENT!” Also, recent surveys show a growing desire of buyers—particularly younger buyers—wanting to live closer to their family. The top reasons to move before the pandemic were a new job, marriage, or baby. But now most moves are being driven by young Millennials—twenty-somethings—who want to be near their family or friends. “The family unit appears to be becoming more important, and I think COVID could increase this trend,” Lautz says.

5. Pets could drive purchase decisions. The pandemic has sparked a surge in households that want a pet. NAR surveys have shown that pets can influence when and where people buy. Forty-three percent of households say they’d be willing to move to better accommodate their pet, according to NAR’s 2020 pets in real estate study, “ANIMAL HOUSE: Pet in the Home Buying and Selling Process.” “We see consumers actually want to buy a property because of a pet, and then they may want a fenced-in yard and extra space for their animals,” Lautz says.

6. A first-time buyer wave could emerge. Consumers may show more commitment to their home than to long-term relationships. In the 1980s, 75% of first-time buyers were married. In 2019, that dropped to 53%. Young adults are waiting longer to get married. Meanwhile, unmarried couples are buying homes at the highest levels ever recorded by NAR: 17%. Also, NAR research has seen a rise in roommates pooling their incomes to purchase a home together. NAR’s research shows that percentage at a mere 4%, but Lautz notes it’s the highest share that NAR has ever recorded. Overall, in 2019, first-time buyers comprised 33% of the housing market, still a low number by historical standards. “But there could be an uptick, particularly in affordable places further out,” Lautz says. “If young professionals become less tied to a metro area for work—in metros where it can be difficult to afford a property—they may increase their purchases.”

7. Housing tenure could fall. Over recent years, homeowners have stayed put in their homes longer than they have in past—an average of 10 years, which is longer than the traditional six-year average. Americans are not moving longer distances like they did in the 1980s. As cities urged stay-at-home restrictions during the pandemic, consumers may start to question whether their home fits their current needs. “Interest rates are at all-time lows; [consumers] may want to move and find a home where they can work from and the kids can too, and they want more yard space to relax,” Lautz notes. “This change in homeowner tenure could be one we see coming soon.”

Twenty-five percent of home buyers reported the pandemic has caused them to move — or speed up their moving timeline, according to a survey conducted by Redfin


Three-quarters of home buyers who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months say the pandemic has affected their home buying plans, according to a SURVEY conducted by Redfin. In addition, 25 percent of home buyers reported the pandemic has caused them to move — or speed up their moving timeline.

“Somewhat counter intuitively, the Corona virus driven recession is propping up the housing market,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fair weather said in a statement. “Home buyer demand is surging despite GDP taking a historic nosedive in the second quarter, largely because Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing even as they cut back on other expenses. Additionally, the Fed is using low interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is giving buyers more purchasing power and boosting home sales. But even with low rates, widespread unemployment and financial uncertainty mean not everyone who wants to buy a home is able to.”

A desire to capitalize on low mortgage rates and more time spent at home are both significant factors impacting home buyers’ decision to move. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents who said the pandemic is causing them to move or move sooner said that low mortgage rates were a factor in their decision. Meanwhile, 52 percent said spending more time at home was a factor in their decision and 40 percent said working from home has impacted their desire to move.

At the time Redfin’s survey was sent out — July 19-21 — the average 30-year mortgage interest rate was 2.98 percent, a historical low. In terms of desired home features, most respondents indicated a preference for more space, a desire spurred by the need to stay at home more often. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they want a designated work-from-home space, and the same percentage said they wanted more outdoor space. Furthermore, 10 percent of respondents said they want a bigger home and 7 percent want a designated space for their kids to learn from home.

I worked the Foreclosure Crisis in 2008 through 2014 and I honestly believe as long as these mortgage holders communicate with their lenders we”won’t see this happen due to the challenges we are facing!”

Florida Trend published today Monday August 3, 2020!

About 389,000, or 10.5 percent, of Florida’s 3.7 million mortgage-holders were delinquent on loan payments in late May, presaging what some fear could be an emerging foreclosure crisis as bad if not worse than the one that followed the 2008 housing crash. Don’t let the media frighten you!

With the lowest interest rates since the 50’s we are experiencing a huge boost of buyers and investors from the Northeast purchasing homes all along the East Coast of Florida! Miami through Jacksonville and I’m sure other parts of Florida we’re seeing the new tomorrow! Over seas corporate business are moving back to the states. Corporations experiencing huge are moving to states with more desirable tax breaks and credits. Yes we have lost many small businesses, however as we move through these challenges we’ll see a remarkable recovery. Big corporations, “Allowing production for their employees from home!” is stimulating buyers to look at an extra bedroom and making it their future office. I’m seeing high end homes becoming a popular market for these wealthier investors.

We hear the construction industry home starts have plummeted as much as 54% in June South Florida construction starts took a nosedive in June, continuing the trend since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Nonresidential construction declined 43 percent in June, year-over-year, to $239.6 million, while residential construction dropped 61 percent to $265.4 million during the same period, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics (Source: The Real Deal) Where is this rhetoric all coming from?

Home prices have hit record highs in Volusia, Flagler counties and I’m seeing multiple offers on homes in St. John’s and Duval Counties. Area Realtors chalk it up to increased demand, super low interest rates and shrinking supply of available homes because of the COVID-19 fears on the part of many would be sellers.

New construction? Builders are offering as low as 2.5% mortgage rates for their homes. New construction does not seem to be slowing down in our area, mostly because these buyers moving to Florida want immediate move in ready homes. In an interesting article published July 13, by Florida Trend Real Estate, home prices in Florida and Arizona expected to drop due to COVID-19 “perfect storm” Despite home prices increasing 4.8% year over year in May, a report by CoreLogic predicts home prices will stall over the summer and estimates a 6.6% decline by May of 2021. What I find remarkable, from June 1st through June 22nd, Del Webb in Nocatee had multiple offers on homes and couldn’t keep enough inventory. When it was announced COVID-19 was becoming prolific in Florida, buyers all but stopped. A real good thing, is that many homes that sold much lower than originally listed have similar models and sizes now securing buyers at a much higher price. Marketing, staging, photography, presentation, and how quickly move-in-ready are certainly determining factors!

So who is correct in a Pandemic environment? I am beginning to believe we are experiencing an up and down trend depending on the environment the media is creating. We will only know as the trending model, “What the market will bear!” experiences! We can’t expect to abide by this statement for the entire rest of 2020, since a Hurricanes, Major Election, Pandemic, Corporate relocation, motivation of buyers and sellers, and I can go on and on with historic and current market trends. Is it all speculation? At the moment, our local trend is a motivation for sellers to consider when listing with a good Realtor!

I didn’t make it to the RE/MAX Hall of Fame without representing my buyers and sellers with outstanding representation.