It’s no secret the housing market has been on fire lately, and some areas of the country are seeing more growth than others. There are a couple of driving factors taking the market to record heights1: millennials reaching peak home-buying years, baby boomers looking to retire, and historically low mortgage interest rates.
There’s especially strong growth expected throughout 2022 in a few key metro areas: Tampa, Austin and Nashville. See what’s happening in each city, and how you can appeal to the specific homebuyer demographics they tend to attract:
Tampa is seeing incredible growth, with the city ranked #1 on Zillow’s 2022 Hot Home Markets list. The Florida Association of Realtors reported2 a 25% increase in Tampa’s median home price over the past 12 months due to high demand, so now’s the time to get in on the market.
Out-of-state baby boomers looking to retire are the strongest driver of real estate here. When building and designing for this generation, keep in mind that they’re looking to invest in a home that will allow them to age-in-place, which means accessibility is a major priority. Features that help them do so include:
Smart technology6 is especially ideal for this demographic because of the ability to control home features right from their smart devices. Anything from smart thermostats and lighting to appliances like ovens or washers/dryers can help baby boomers feel more comfortable in their home for years to come. The Whirlpool® 5.8 cu. ft. Smart Freestanding Gas Range with EZ-2-Lift™ Grates, for example, allows users to remotely preheat the oven and even check their timer from afar to make meal prep simple.
Austin was also ranked among the top 10 hottest housing markets7 in 2022, and for good reason. Prices and demand have both soared over the last year, and the Austin market shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, new listings grew8 even more in early 2022, with more growth predicted9 for the year. However, with home prices surging, purchasing a home may be out of reach for some buyers. Instead, prospective Austin home buyers10 have turned to the build-to-rent market where they can have all the benefits of a home without the inflated cost.
So, who’s renting in Austin and what are they looking for in a build-to-rent home? Austin offers a friendly business climate, quality of life and relatively low cost of living11, thus attracting lots of young professionals — particularly millennials12. With work-from-home expected13 to stick around, a home office is now a must-have14 for this demographic. Other must-haves include lots of storage space15, granite countertops16 and outdoor spaces17.
When it comes to appliances, renters are very interested in stainless steel finishes18 which are low maintenance and offer a modern, sleek appearance. They’re also looking for in-unit laundry: 92%19 of renters were interested in in-unit washers and dryers and will pay more for them20. The Whirlpool® 1.9 cu. ft. 24" Compact Washer with Detergent Dosing Aid option and matching Whirlpool® 4.3 Cu. Ft. 24" Small Space Ventless Dryer are designed for small spaces, maximizing every inch, while still providing a high level of functionality.
Nashville has been a hotspot for growth over the past few years, with new home pending sales up 16%21 year-over-year due to a high affordability ratio22. The affordability of the city has prompted many buyers to relocate from more expensive major metros, and now has a millennial homeownership rate of 55%23.
When it comes to building and designing a home for this group of buyers, sustainability should be top of mind. In fact, 75%24 of millennials prioritize it so much that they’re willing to pay more for features like high-performance windows, solar panels and energy-efficient appliances. And, buyers ranked ENERGY STAR® rated appliances #925 in a recent study from the National Association of Home Buyers. They’ll appreciate ENERGY STAR® certified appliances throughout the home that help them to minimize their energy usage. Washers like the Maytag® Smart Front Load Gas Dryer with Extra Power and Advanced Moisture Sensing Plus - 7.3 cu. ft., for example, use about 25%26 less energy than regular washers.
To support single-family builders at the local level, Whirlpool Corporation has created the Builder Support Representative Program, which is currently offered in all of the above hot home markets. This program ensures that builders in select markets have a direct Whirlpool Corporation contact in their community that they can count on for one-on-one operational training and assistance in managing their appliance-related needs. To learn more about the Builder Support Representative Program or inquire about the program in your area, visit WhirlpoolPro.com/Contact.