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Homebuyers Experiencing Cabin Fever Help Drive Demand for New Construction Homes

May 11th, 2020 • 3 min read

couple buying new home - New Home Community - New Construction Homes For Sale in Parrish, FL

PARRISH, Fla. – (May 11, 2020) – Just as the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented obstacle, the economic effects of the pandemic are just as unpredictable. Take real estate, for instance. After a steep drop-off in sales and homebuyer interest beginning in late March, home buying is showing signs of recovery, down only 15% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Redfin.

The unexpected path to real estate recovery is largely propelled by an equally unexpected homebuyer profile: first-time buyers and young families.

The pandemic buyer profile

Nationally, the current most active homebuyers tend to be couples and individuals who have been wanting to purchase a home for quite some time, are fed up with their current living situation, have a positive outlook on their job stability and are enticed by the low prices, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Historically low-interest rates add to the enticing homebuying market, with rates hovering around just 3.7% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, as of mid-May 2020.

Many of these homebuyers currently living in dense, urban spaces are seeking opportunities for social distancing, realizing that their tight living quarters are insufficient for working at home for long periods of time and maintaining the proper safe distance from others.

Young families, in particular, appear to be experiencing cabin fever combined with the too-open-concept floor plans of their current homes. While the open-concept floor plan is expected to remain a popular choice, we may see families gravitate towards homes that offer ‘get-away’ spaces, such as loft space for the kids, playroom, a second home office, den or extended outdoor living space.

Loft Space in new home at North River ranch - New Home Community - New Construction Homes For Sale in Parrish, FL

A loft space in the Centex McNair model home

Homebuilder Centex offers a floorplan called the McNair at Manatee County’s new master-planned community, North River Ranch, which offers plenty of social distancing space within the home, including a loft, gathering room and extended lanai.

Ease of virtual homebuying

These younger homebuyers are also more likely to be comfortable with technology that allows for an almost entirely virtual home buying process. The stages of purchasing a home, from identifying the right one to signing the final papers, can now be done entirely virtually – something this generation is confidently equipped to navigate.

Particularly among new home builders and developers, like those at North River Ranch, virtual home buying is a common and well-established practice where many aspects of homebuying from design to financing are already offered in one simplified process through the homebuilder.


Why new construction

Aside from the ease of the virtual home buying process, cabin fevered homebuyers are gravitating to newly built homes in Florida new developments like those at North River Ranch for a variety of reasons.

“This Spring, when listings usually surge, sellers have pulled their homes from the market, not wanting buyers coming through but also concerned that values would drop,” reports CNBC.

Naturally, homebuyers turn then to new construction homes, which are appealing for their never-been-lived-in cleanliness, accessibility in a time where homeowners are uncomfortable opening their homes to the public and for the incentives commonly offered from homebuilders during times of economic slowdown.

The Manatee County appeal

Specifically, in North Manatee County, home to North River Ranch, homebuyers benefit from lower home prices compared to new construction communities in Hillsborough or Sarasota County.

The current average home sale price in North River Ranch is approximately $300,000, compared to an average sale price of $321,200 in Hillsborough County and $414,300 in Sarasota County in March 2020.

Is now the right time for you to consider new construction in a master-planned community? Explore available homes at North River Ranch today.

Neal Land & Neighborhoods is a Manatee and Sarasota, Florida-based master-planned community development organization led by John A. Neal. The company incorporates smart master-planning and public infrastructure solutions to create the next level of elite community living in Southwest Florida. By working with carefully selected new home builders, Neal Land & Neighborhoods aims to establish thriving, sustainable, livable and ecologically sensitive communities throughout Manatee, Sarasota and Hillsborough counties. Neal Land & Neighborhoods currently owns or controls several thousand acres of land entitled for more than 9,000 future residential homes and the supporting mixed-use commercial and retail.