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Coronavirus changes house hunting, renovation trends

Jeanette Settembre

Homebuyers want rooms.

Searches for new construction homes during the coronavirus pandemic have surged 73 percent compared to last year, and many people are interested in designing their new homes and 35 percent said a new floor plan would be appealing, according to The Harris Poll commissioned by real estate listing company Zillow.

The survey polled 2,065 adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and older and found 27 percent said they would consider moving to a home with more rooms and agree that open spaces with combined kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms are too noisy to work.

“We’ve seen a surge in traffic to our new construction listings, and believe some of that is attributable to our customers’ needs changing. Builders are seeing the premium placed on quiet spaces and the need for more privacy after months of working from home and distance learning," Lucy Wohtman, vice president of new construction at Zillow, told Fox Business Friday.

Interest in home remodeling is on the rise as Americans rethink the open floor plan trend in home architecture in favor of separated quiet spaces for work-life balance during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Indeed, open living spaces are becoming less ideal as employees continue to work from home because of COVID-19, and they could be in need of quiet spaces to hold Zoom calls, do at-home workouts, or to simply block out the noise.

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Interest in home remodeling is on the rise as Americans rethink the open floor plan in favor of separated quiet spaces for work-life balance.

A separate survey from home renovation and design platform Houzz in May also found that 34 percent of respondents said they needed more storage, 23 percent said they needed a workout space and 23 percent expressed interest in a workspace.

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Likewise, There's has been a surge in consumer interest at home improvement retailers during the pandemic. Home Depot's sales climbed 6.4 percent and Lowe's sales increased 11.2 percent, according to first-quarter earnings reports.

What's more, purchases for home improvement items increased 71 percent since last month, according to data from market research firm Rakuten Intelligence, proof that Americans are investing in their work-from-home spaces to create a separation from work and their personal lives.

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