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During COVID-19, a new priority emerges among some St. Louis homebuyers: a home office

"A home office has always been a desirable feature and it has certainly become more desirable as we see more people working from home"
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Widespread work-from-home policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t just changing how we work. They are also impacting how some are shopping for homes.

“A home office has always been a desirable feature and it has certainly become more desirable as we see more people working from home,” said real estate agent Linda Boehmer of the Boehmer Team.

A recent nationwide survey of brokers from the National Association of Realtors said buyers have changed at least one home feature important to them due to COVID-19. The most prevalent feature to take on new importance: a home office. That trend extends to St. Louis, local agents said.

Sam Hall, with The Warner Hall Group of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, said he’s seeing an uptick in buyers considering home office space. He warned, though, that slim options on the market might put a wrinkle in some buyers' home office options.

“However, with a 12-year inventory low in the central corridor, beggars aren’t being choosy. So much so, that buyers are more open than ever to converting dining rooms to dens, basement nooks to potential offices, and extra bedrooms are carrying a premium more than ever,” he said.

Matt Bruns, managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties South County, said his team so far has only had a few buyers express interest in home offices. Though, he added “we do believe it will be a growing trend in the near future.”

St. Louis’ housing inventory, which was already low, has been decimated during the pandemic. Statistics published by the St. Louis Realtors trade association show that new single-family home listings decreased 26.9% in April, leaving St. Louis with an inventory of 3,644 homes for sale, down 17.4% year over year.

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