3 Ways Seattle Homebuyers Changed What They Were Looking For in 2020

brown wooden desk with rolling chair and shelves near window

In a time of incredible change, home took on new meaning in 2020. As our worlds grew smaller, our homes took on new roles as offices, schools, gyms, and more. They became, literally, the safe places from which most of us spent most of our time. 

People kept buying homes, some driven by this sudden situation. We were curious to see how the things that homebuyers look for changed from 2019 to 2020. Did spending more time at home make them want more space? A different kind of space? A more distant space? 

To get a sense for Seattle-area homebuyer priorities, we analyzed the homes for which Flyhomes clients requested tours, indicating that they were interested in potentially buying those homes. Now, we’re drawing conclusions based on that data. 

People don’t want to be attached to their neighbors

Seattle-area homebuyers in 2020 favored single family homes over condos and, to a lesser extent, townhomes. Condos represented 17% of tour-requested homes in 2019, but only 10% in 2020. Meanwhile, single-family homes increased in interest, going from 64% of requested tours to 75%. Townhomes went from 18% to 14%. 

Living in the city is less appealing than it used to be 

We saw a significant shift in the mix of homebuyers looking at homes in urban Seattle versus suburban areas. Urban searches dropped from 53% of searches in 2019 to 40% in 2020. 

The change in the amount of urban interest might be due to commutes becoming less important as working from home became a sudden norm combined with increased interest in single family homes, which are less common in the city than in the suburbs.

“Urban” was determined using zip codes within and outside of the city. 

The more bedrooms, the better—up to five

Homebuyers in 2020 knew a bedroom isn’t just a bedroom. A bedroom is a place where you can close the door and make it what you need it to be—away from the rest of the home. And they know how valuable that can be. 

For Seattle-area homebuyers, two-bedroom homes became less popular in 2020. Tour requests for two-bedroom homes dropped from 9% to 6% of the total. 

Three-bedroom homes are the most popular home type, but less so in 2020 than in 2019. They dropped from 44% to 41% of requested tours. 

Four-bedroom homes jumped in popularity, going from 36% to 40% of requested tours in the Seattle area. 

Five-bedroom homes also saw an increase, from 10% to 12%. Six-bedroom homes saw no change in popularity, staying at 1% of requested tours. 


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