The COVID-19 pandemic has had some long-lasting impacts on our daily lives. From where we live to how we conduct business, it seems that most aspects of life are different as compared to the beginning of 2020. Perhaps the biggest impact from the pandemic on the real estate market has been the booming popularity of the virtual workspace (a.k.a. “work from home”). As a result of the virtual workspace, many Americans have opted to move to larger spaces in order to accommodate their new work environment and even school environment for many children. Over the past several years, the increased desire for social distancing has resulted in many Americans having an insatiable appetite for additional space in the home. With this said, home has not only become the office or classroom, but in many cases additional rooms are being converted to home gyms. After all, having the luxury of working out at home is not only convenient, but it also helps promote social distancing. Add in the record high fuel prices and this can also result in additional fuel savings due to the lack of a commute to a gym. Just how popular are home gyms though?
Work (-out) from home
Since 2003, the popularity of home gyms has been steadily on the rise. With this said, the pandemic has certainly kicked this demand into overdrive. In fact, the share of home buyers that expressed a desire to have a home gym has increased from 27% in 2003 to a whopping 47% in 2020! While nearly half of buyers currently desire to have a home gym, the differences vary greatly based on generation. The stark differences are as follows:
- Baby Boomers: 33% desire a home gym
- Generation X: 61% desire a home gym
- Millennials: 62% desire a home gym
Of course, a home gym is certainly a specialty room that is only feasible in large enough homes to accommodate them. While the popularity of a fitness room has certainly grown substantially, it still does not rank among the top 5 most desired specialty rooms by home buyers. A recent analysis by the National Association of Home Builders called “What Home Buyers Really Want”, ranked the top 5 most desired specialty rooms as follows:
- #1. Laundy room (87% of buyers deemed essential or desirable)
- #2. Dining room (70% of buyers deemed essential or desirable)
- #3. Great room (64% of buyers deemed essential or desirable)
- #4. Home office (63% of buyers deemed essential or desirable)
- #5. Separate living room (62% of buyers deemed essential or desirable)
We expect several of the recent pandemic-induced trends in real estate to stick around for the long haul. Perhaps the top trend on this list is the popularity of the home office. Given the transition to the work-from-home environment by many employers, we expect the demand for the home office to remain forever. Not far behind the demand for the home office is the home gym. As more Americans have grown used to the home being central to all aspects of life, we expect many of these specialty rooms to become more popular in home searches moving forward.
Are you in the South Florida and thinking about buying or selling real estate? We can help. Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! For real-time access to the latest South Florida MLS listing information, download the Florida Home Search app today!