As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the CENTURY 21® Brand explores the concept of home in a unique collaboration with National Geographic CreativeWorks, culminating in the production of its first-ever branded documentary. Titled “Home Rediscovered,” the documentary premieres on the National Geographic Network on Sept. 23, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST.
To support the film, the CENTURY 21® Brand commissioned a global research study with magnetic collective, an insights-driven brand consultancy, to explore how the past year transformed the modern home and what these changes might mean for the future of homeownership and the real estate industry. The study was conducted using both quantitative analysis and qualitative interviews with real estate agents, builders, recent buyers and future buyers across five key global markets including the United States, France, Australia, Spain and Japan.
The survey was based on the responses of 1,500 people (300 in each market), from the ages of 25 to 64 from April to May 2021. The “Rediscovering Home” documentary weaves in findings from the study as well as examines several housing trends that emerged during the pandemic which are expected to shape our vision of home for the foreseeable future.
- There has not been one universal pandemic experience as countries have followed their own COVID timelines with varying peaks and restrictions, creating a home-buying process that varies geographically.
- The U.S., Spain, and France were all once epicenters and went through some of the longest lockdown and restriction periods
- Fifty-eight percent of buyers in France say that COVID will have a lasting impact on what they want in their homes; 43% of buyers in Spain say COVID has been most influential when it comes to their desire to buy a new home
- COVID’s influence on aspects of the home-buying process in the U.S. is most evident for those with kids and those working from home
- Australia and Japan initially saw more of a slowdown instead of a lockdown, but COVID’s more recent emergence in Japan leaves 48% of future buyers saying it has been a factor in their desire to buy a new home
- Twenty-two percent of those surveyed globally say they moved because someone from the family moved in leading to a universal need for flexibility and reimagining of spaces
- In Australia, children are now more likely to stay at home during college years, until they find a job with a steady income
- In Spain and Japan, children are staying at home until age 30 or marriage
- The pandemic forced people to stay close to home, but even when looking to move, they aren’t going far.
- Across all markets, most of the people surveyed reported moving within 20 miles or kilometers of their current home; longer distance moves (50-plus miles or kilometers) are more common in the U.S. and France than in other markets
- Twenty percent of U.S. and France buyers moved 50-plus miles or kilometers away, compared to Spain and Japan buyers less than 15% moved that far
- Low inventory and increasing prices continue to be the hot topics in the U.S. and across markets.
- Low home inventory in the top five challenges people are facing in all markets surveyed; all markets experienced challenges finding homes to fit their needs.
- In the U.S., according to the National Association of REALTORS®, the public inventory numbers from May to June increased 3.3% and the internal inventory numbers are also similarly trending up leading to some early optimism that we are seeing green shoots of increased supply
- France has seen a ‘banlieu’ (suburbs) boom with suburb property prices soaring, a trend only more accentuated as a result of the pandemic
- While Australia has fared better than other well-developed countries due to snap lockdowns, internal border controls and tough social distancing measures, residential property values have been on a steady increase for the past year
- Urban flight is happening around the world, but there are indications that it may not be a lasting trend.
- Future buyers in all countries surveyed are more likely to stay in urban areas by a large margin (compared to recent buyers)
- In the U.S., 82% of future buyers will stay in urban areas. In Japan, that number is 80%; 59% in France, 73% in Spain and 62% in Australia
“It’s no secret that the last 18 months have been a wild ride for the real estate industry,” said Michael Miedler, president and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC, in a statement. “What was once a seasonal business that had expected outcomes from month to month was completely upended by work from home, schooling at home and postponed life events. We were thrilled to work alongside magnetic collective and National Geographic CreativeWorks to take a deep dive into how these lifestyle changes were going to impact the consumers’ view of home and subsequently the future of our industry.”
“Regardless of what challenges and changes lie ahead, we were excited to see that buyers surveyed in all markets see the benefits of having an active and engaged real estate professional, like our C21® affiliated agents, taking on multiple roles and being a partner throughout the journey,” added Miedler. “All of these learnings will help to ensure that we are continuing to deliver the most extraordinary experiences possible for all of our clients around the globe.”
“Home Rediscovered” is a 45-minute film hosted by National Geographic Explorers Andrés Ruzo and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant. They met with a diverse group of families and individuals who have uprooted their lives, bought homes, moved or simply re-thought the way they want to live—now and in the future as they explored what the future of home will look like around the world.
For more information, please visit www.century21.com.